Panax has experience of mobilizing communities, including community health workers, health officials, and religious and traditional leaders to support increased access to and use of family planning and reproductive health services, including prevention and treatment of cervical cancer. To increase access to services, Panax integrates family planning and reproductive health services within maternal and child health, adolescent health, HIV & AIDS, and nutrition services. Panax can build providers’ capabilities and support systems, including systems for managing the supply of contraceptives and other reproductive health commodities.
ADOLESCENT SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH
Panax has the experience of working, available through its experts, in the regions which have a high concentration of youth at risk for early childbearing. Panax can target these youth through numerous interventions, both directly in the form of leadership training for youth groups and programs to increase access to health and nutrition services and indirectly through health systems strengthening and youth-focused organizations.
We can conduct our youth-centric work in urban and rural areas; establish youth-friendly corners for educational entertainment; youth-oriented leadership development program focuses on reducing the prevalence of HIV & AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases; initiate a peer-mentoring program to train youth mentors to promote voluntary counseling and testing; place trained mentors in hospitals and clinics, where they supported and guided young people entering the health system—an efficient and promising approach that helps create youth-friendly services at the community level. Panax can help establish a systems-strengthening approach to increase access to and appropriate use of essential reproductive health and family planning commodities. Our approach addresses pharmaceutical management taking into account the other five building blocks of health systems: governance, human resources, information systems, financing, and service delivery. This is done at all levels of the health system, including community-based distributors and private drug sellers.
Panax has the capacity to establish and implement programs which ensure availability of quality commodities requires improving policies, enforcing compliance with policies, and strengthening the regulatory system. Panax can work with national regulatory authorities to streamline registration processes, strengthen quality assurance, align national essential medicines lists with standard treatment guidelines, and establish transparent systems.
Scarcity of well-trained personnel to manage commodities and provide adequate services is a perennial problem in developing countries. Providers at lower levels of the health system, including community health workers, provide the bulk of reproductive health and family planning services, but are often the providers who receive the least training. Panax can provide state-of-the-art tools and job aids to assist providers in managing commodities and providing related services. Panax has hands on experience of training programs and tools on commodity management for providers at all levels of the system.
Policy makers are often forced to make uninformed decisions about access to reproductive health and family planning commodities because the necessary information is simply unavailable. Panax can provide solutions to, and can work at all levels to improve the evidence base for decision and policy making.
Many reproductive health and family planning commodities are inexpensive compared with those needed for other major public health conditions, such as medicines for Tuberculosis etc. However, country budgets are often insufficient to cover needs completely. While donors are able to cover some of the shortfall, stock outs are a common occurrence. As a result, out-of-pocket expenses increase and equity diminishes for the most vulnerable populations who struggle to access reproductive health and family planning services. Panax has the capacity to help national programs develop mechanisms that reduce financial barriers, use existing resources, and generate additional financial resources.
Managing the supply chain is not enough to ensure that clients have access to a wide variety of family planning methods and can chose the commodity that best fits their needs. Providing reproductive health and family planning services requires provider training on counseling and referral and appropriate administration of medicines. Panax believes in inclusion of client counseling and pharmaceutical care in guidance on best practices.
COMMUNITY-BASED FAMILY PLANNING
Panax has extensive experience of bringing health services to people where they live, bolstering the capacity of local partners to dramatically expand community-based care, especially key maternal, neonatal, child health, and family planning services.
This experience has provided us with the knowledge, expertise, and tools to help quickly scale up community health programs and improve community health workers’ leadership. Panax can strengthen the management of community-based FP services through practical improvements in logistics and supply-chain management, health management information systems, human resources, financial management, community health worker performance, patient flow and referral, and recordkeeping and reporting.
We have extensive experience in training—and retraining—community health workers. Panax has the experience of working with religious leaders and has demonstrated that culturally sensitive approaches can increase the use of family planning. One of these approaches is encouraging healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy so births are spaced three or more years apart. A child whose parents use the healthiest spacing of pregnancy is more than twice as likely to survive the first five years of life than a child who is born more closely spaced. Birth spacing also increases a mother’s chances of surviving childbirth by up to two and one-half times and reduces the risk of low birth weight, maternal anemia, preterm birth, stillbirth, and third-trimester bleeding. Birth spacing focuses on achieving the healthiest pregnancy outcomes.
INTEGRATION OF FAMILY PLANNING AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH WITH HEPATITIS, HIV, MATERNAL, NEONATAL, AND CHILD HEALTH, AND NUTRITION
Panax has extensive experience of implementing projects that promote integrated health service delivery, including integrating family planning and reproductive health, and Hepatitis, and HIV & AIDS, maternal, neonatal, and child health, and nutrition services.
Panax can integrate services by; strengthening the integration of Hepatitis, HIV prevention and management in the minimum package of priority health services offered at the service delivery sites; strengthening family planning as one of the pillars of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of Hepatitis, and HIV. Our prevention of mother-to-child transmission training and mentoring programs integrate antenatal care, labor and delivery, neonatal care, postnatal care, and family planning into one coherent program provided by the same trained staff. We have expertise available for training Hepatitis, and HIV & AIDS service providers to deliver family planning counseling and contraceptives to clients without leaving their clinical area; ensuring that supervisors and mentors can support staff in all service areas; engaging community leaders to disseminate key family planning, Hepatitis and HIV & AIDS messages at the community-level; reducing structural barriers that limit a client’s ability to receive multiple services at the same time (e.g., examining fees charged for some services but not others and ensuring the availability of adequate supplies of all essential commodities, including contraceptives).
Panax can undertake this in a number of settings — At scale: at national and provincial level by working through and with national and provincial programs; At the community level: community-Based Family Planning, Hepatitis and HIV & AIDS Services, integrated services to hard to-reach, underserved areas through community health workers; and In remote, hard-to reach areas: covering remote, nomadic communities with limited access to goods and services.