The Government of Liberia and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) have launched the first-ever survey to assess the availability of modern contraceptives and essential life-saving maternal and reproductive health medicines in service delivery points here.
Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah
According to a release, the survey will cover 128 primary, secondary and tertiary health centers across the country.
In addition to assessing the availability of these services, the survey will also gauge the perception of people who use or attempt to access the services at the facilities on the availability and the timeliness of receipt of services.
Speaking Friday at the launch of the survey, Assistant Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah said, “There is nothing more critical in reducing maternal and newborn mortality, and infant mortality than ensuring that reproductive commodities are always everywhere; accessible and affordable at all times.”
Minister Nyenswah added that “investing in reproductive health, including maternal and child health can accelerate economic growth and development and the wellbeing of citizens.” “Voluntary family planning can lower fertility and reduce maternal mortality;” he noted.
He called on the enumerators and supervisors trained to conduct the survey to be professional and meticulous noting; “tangible and concrete information is needed in order to intervene to make the right decision.”
According to the United Nations Population or UNFPA, the survey is under the Global Program on Reproductive Health Commodity Security, commonly referred to as the GPRHCS.
In her remarks, UNFPA Resident Representative Ms. Ratidzai Ndhlovu said, the GPRHCS program “gives comprehensive support to governments to enhance procurement of contraceptives and essential maternal and reproductive health lifesaving medicines; strengthen the procurement and supply chain management systems including support to the electronic Logistics Management Information System (e-LMIS); enhance advocacy and demand generation for family planning services and strengthen national capacity for the provision of family planning information and services at health centers and also in communities.
She said the 2013 RHCS survey would serve as a benchmark; providing Liberia with baseline data against which to measure results.
Ms. Ndhlovu further outlined that the focus of the RHCS survey is on three outcome indicators in the GPRHCS monitoring and evaluation framework, which include Percentage of Service Delivery Points offering at least five modern methods of contraceptives; Percentage of Service Delivery Points with seven life-saving maternal and reproductive health medicines; and Percentage of Service Delivery Points with ‘no stock-out’ of contraceptives within the last six months before the survey.
Liberia is joining 45 countries around the world to conduct the annual review of Reproductive Health Commodity Security. “The results of the 2013 GPRHCS survey will be an excellent compliment for the 2013 LDHS and both of these surveys, heavily supported by UNFPA, are two very significant sources of data on Family planning, maternal health and Reproductive Health commodity security.”
“This data will be very useful in determining high impact interventions to ensure reproductive health commodity security thereby contributing to increasing utilization of Family Planning Services and subsequent reduction of maternal mortality”. Ms. Ndhlovu noted.
She promised UNFPA’s commitment to ensuring the provision of family planning services to the people of Liberia as a strategy to reduce maternal mortality. “We know that there is a lot more to be done in order to define the right package of interventions to achieve our common goal that is to improve the quality of life of the Liberian population by enhancing the provision of Family Planning services and ensuring that no woman dies while giving life”, she said.