Empower Her, Protect Them: Evaluating the integration of family planning and immunizing services

In 2015, the Pfizer Foundation launched a pilot program with four international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) in five African countries (CARE, Benin; IRC, Ethiopia and Uganda; World Vision, Kenya; Save the Children, Malawi). The grant program, Healthy Families, Healthy Futures, provides family planning access and education at the same time children are routinely vaccinated.

Through the integration of these services, the Pfizer Foundation and its partners sought to improve access to both family planning and immunizations, with a focus on creating opportunities for women and men to access family planning information and services through increased touchpoints with the healthcare system. This practice has the potential to improve health outcomes for women and children, as well as increase the efficiency of overburdened healthcare systems.

Current evidence around integrated health delivery models indicates high-impact, positive outcomes for women and their families. To understand and explain what components of the program interventions were crucial in driving these results, and how these drivers were triggered by and dependent upon the context in which the interventions were implemented, researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, with support from the Pfizer Foundation, conducted a realist evaluation across the five country sites. The findings from this evaluation are based on the perceptions of those interviewed, which included family planning service users and providers, along with other key community members.

The insights from this study reinforce the success of integrated health services in increasing access to family planning in the studied regions and provide key insights to potentially inform and refine similar programs in the future.

Published 2019-06-18