Kanpur, India – With the recently held training of trainers (TOT) at the District Women’s Hospital (DWH), Kanpur, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s flagship Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP) helped prepare the third postpartum intrauterine contraceptive device (PPIUCD) training site in Uttar Pradesh. PPIUCD, a safe and reversible family planning option, is high on the agenda of the Government of India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) as a viable pregnancy-spacing option to be provided to women right after childbirth. Uttar Pradesh (UP), the most populous state in India with nearly 200,000 people, and the second highest fertility rate (3.5), urgently requires innovative family planning solutions and is a high-focus state for the Indian Government. Every year in UP, out of every 1,000 children born, 57 die before their first birthday, and of every 100,000 mothers who give birth, 359 of them die from childbirth-related complications.
Recognized as an intervention to reduce maternal and infant mortality, and save women from unintended pregnancies, the Government of Uttar Pradesh, with technical assistance from MCHIP, plans to scale-up the provision of PPIUCD services to all 71 districts.
To facilitate this scale-up and train more providers in service provision, four PPIUCD training sites will be established by March 2013. At present, the capacities of proficient PPIUCD service providers are being developed to prepare them to function as PPIUCD trainers. They in turn will conduct three-day PPIUCD clinical training courses for providers from their own and neighboring districts. This mechanism is critical to ensure sustainability and self-sufficiency of the state in taking the PPIUCD scale-up activities forward.
The latest in these series of trainings was held on January 10–11, 2013, at Kanpur’s DWH. “The training was one of a kind and perfect,” said one of the participants.
The training focused on building the participants’ capacity as effective trainers and prepared them to become competent PPIUCD trainers. A Postpartum Training Package developed by the MoHFW, with technical assistance from MCHIP, was shared with the participants. “The training was very concise and appropriate for the skill development of doctors,” said Dr. Ruchi Jain, one of the participants. “We have benefited not just in providing PPIUCD trainings, but our capacities have been developed as trainers.”
MCHIP’s first training site in UP was at King George’s Medical University in 2009. Since then, 20 facilities are now providing PPIUCD services in the state, 94 doctors have been trained in service provision and more than 4,000 women have accepted PPIUCD insertions. To take services to scale, the state will develop five more training sites by 2014, which will then cater to the training needs of the entire state.
Dr. Anjula Gupta, another participant from the TOT at DWH, Kanpur, understands the importance of her role. She said, “The people who come to our facilities are generally from the poorer sections of society. They are often burdened with the pressures of making two ends meet, but still have big families with several children. These are the people who most need a family planning option. Counseling them and providing them with a family planning method while they are still at the facility will definitely increase their acceptance. Though many a times, cultural barriers make acceptance levels low, we know PPIUCD is a very effective and hassle-free method. This makes it very suitable for these people. As a state trainer, I will keep trying to develop competent providers who will provide quality PPIUCD services and help more women adopt a family planning method for their own health and for a better future of their families.”
To learn more about MCHIP, please visit www.mchip.net.