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Increasing the availability and acceptability of contraceptives through community-based outreach in Bas Zaire Programme d'Education Familiale (PRODEF). Original.
In: Operations research family planning database project summaries, [compiled by] Population Council. New York, New York, Population Council, 1993 Mar.  p. (ZAI-01)The Tulane Family Planning (FP) Operations Research (OR) Project in Bas Zaire (known locally as PRODEF) aims to increase the availability and acceptability of modern contraceptives in an urban and a rural area. The urban program offers FP only, whereas the rural program integrates FP with 3 interventions for children under 5 years of age: anti-malarial drugs, anti-helminthic drugs, and rehydration salts. The objectives of this project, which cost US $623,504, were to: increase knowledge and use of modern contraceptives; improve attitudes toward FP; decrease "ideal" family size; and increase appropriate treatment for children under 5 years of age who have malaria, intestinal helminths, and dehydration due to malaria. The project tests 2 alternative strategies for the delivery of FP services. In treatment area A, dispensaries distribute contraceptives (and the rural children's drugs) and outreach activities are conducted. In area B, dispensaries distribute contraceptives (and the rural children's drugs), but there are no outreach activities. In the rural villages that do not have a dispensary, a matrone selected by the villagers is trained by PRODEF to serve as a distributor. Pre/post-intervention surveys were conducted in all project areas to measure changes in FP knowledge and practice and the relative effectiveness of the 2 approaches. Service statistics were used to monitor project activity, and cost/couple month of protection (CMP) was compared. The promotion of modern contraceptives was found to be culturally acceptable. Offering FP services only was acceptable in the urban area. The number of ever-married women who had ever used a modern contraceptive rose from 10 to 48% among women in area A and to 44% among women in area B. The child health interventions greatly enhanced the value of the program for the rural communities. Ever use of modern contraceptives increased from 8 to 34% in area A and from 7 to 27% in area B. The matrones were an efficient and culturally acceptable distribution channel. Simply making the contraceptives available increased contraceptive prevalence. However, the level of contraceptive prevalence was greater in area A, which also received outreach. Current use of modern methods in the urban area increased from 4 to 19% in area A and from 5 to 16% in area B. In the rural area, modern method use increased from 5 to 14% in area A, and from 2 to 10% in area B. The number of women using a traditional method decreased from 60 to 48% in area A and from 65 to 53% in area B; however, traditional methods are still used more than modern methods by a factor of 2:1 in the urban area and by over 3:1 in the rural area. The baseline survey showed that 95% of all women know at least one traditional fertility control method and about 80% had heard of at least one modern method. At follow-up, almost all urban respondents knew at least one modern and one traditional method. In the rural area, 90% knew at least one modern method. In the urban region, cost per CMP was US $7.11 in area A and $6.18 in area B; in the rural region the respective costs were US $11.22 and $7.95.