An innovative approach for delivering community-based reproductive health services. By: Mrs. Idowu Victoria
ARFH’s Community-based Mobile reproductive health Service (Keke-ARFH) brings reproductive health including family planning information and methods to the people rather than requiring them to visit health facilities. The community-based mobile health outreach is an extension of activities going in ARFH’s main clinic in Ibadan. The goal of the program is to increase access to reproductive health services including family planning methods thereby increasing contraceptive prevalence rate among the people in communities in Ibadan, south- western Nigeria. Outreach activities take place weekly from Monday to Thursday, 11:30am to 3:30pm.
This is a solution to the human resource challenges of health care systems in Nigeria. With mobile services, a team of health care providers travels from a health facility to a community to offer reproductive health including family planning services and methods in areas where services are limited or do not exist. This strategy takes more planning but greatly improves method choice at the community level.
For Keke-ARFH, a usual mobile outreach day begins with awareness creation (usually a song is sang in the local dialect by the health officer) when entering the community or area to build demand. The community health officer, Mrs. Idowu drives a painted tricycle to the venue in order to attract community members to services provided. Clients are counselled generally on reproductive health issues bothering them and non-prescriptive services are provided based on the need of the client while referrals are made for the prescriptive services when available on the field which is provided by the clinic staff or referrals are made to the clinic.
Records of activities going on the field are kept and up to date and client follow-up is also ensured to enable continuity of care. The tricycle is returned and packed in ARFH main compound and prepared for activities of the following day.
Communities where the mobile services are provided include:
- Oje Market
Activities carried out in the areas include:
- Creating awareness
- Health Education
- Couple and individual counselling on Family planning
- Distribution of male and female condoms
- Administration of injectable by clinic staff
- Insertion of implants
- Referral to ARFH main clinic for IUCD, implants, treatment of other minor ailments and STIs, and laboratory services
- Demand creation for services provided in ARFH e.g. main clinic, laboratory, YDP, library, Computer training centre, Browsing centre
- Distribution of IEC materials e.t.c
The community health mobile outreach started in October, 2010 by the ARFH community health officers namely, Mrs. Idowu Victoria, Mrs. Eludipo, Mrs. Oluyori F. and Mrs. Adediji. The outreach program was birth in order to reintegrate the main responsibility of community health officers. The program is in its 3rd year with Mrs. Idowu Victoria as the community health officer.