Where We Work
The USAID | Health Policy Initiative completed its work in Malawi on September 29, 2010.
Task Order 1 of the USAID | Health Policy Initiative (HPI) strengthened the policy environment for improved family planning programs in Malawi in a variety of ways. The project provided technical assistance to in-country partners to apply the RAPID Model and use it as a family planning advocacy tool. The RAPID Model projects the social and economic consequences of high fertility and rapid population growth for sectors such as labor, education, health, urbanization, and agriculture. The RAPID Model application was used to raise policymakers’ awareness of the importance of fertility and population growth as factors in social and economic development.
In collaboration with USAID | DELIVER, HPI promoted contraceptive security in Malawi. In doing so, the project helped the government assess and address potential operational policy barriers to contraceptive security—particularly the procurement and financing of contraceptives.
HPI also promoted increased access to family planning by addressing barriers to the scale-up of community-based distribution of injectable contraceptives. Most countries in Africa, including Malawi, face a critical shortage of doctors, nurses, and midwives. By enabling trained community healthcare providers to provide injectable contraceptives, the country can help reduce unmet need for family planning without increasing strain on scarce human resources.
Malawi Approves Community-based Distribution (CBD) of Injectable Contraceptives. In March 2008, Malawi’s Ministry of Health (MOH) decided to allow health surveillance assistants (HSAs) to administer injectable contraceptives at the community level. The decision came about, in part, due to information, analyses, and advocacy support provided by HPI. The project worked with Malawi’s Reproductive Health Unit (under the MOH) and other partners to carry out evidence-based advocacy, including conducting an operational barriers analysis, mapping community-level services, reviewing other CBD projects, organizing stakeholder forums, and assessing the impact of increased family planning on achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The ministry’s decision will help reduce unmet need for FP by expanding access to FP services at the community level.