In many communities around the world, women continue to lack access to quality family planning services that provide the information, counseling and care necessary for them to make sound decisions about their fertility. And the caliber of care they receive has been shown to have a direct correlation with women’s contraceptive use. Often, in settings where the quality of family planning services is substandard, contraceptive use among women tends to be low or fragmented. High quality family planning services that recognize their dignity and respects choice and privacy, are rarely considered a matter of rights for women.
This is true for many communities in India as well. As such, leaders have responded by carrying out major transformations to the country’s family planning program over the last few decades that have, in part, demonstrated a commitment to providing high-quality, comprehensive health services. However, gaps in quality of care remain.
To assess what these gaps are, as well as patients’ satisfaction with sterilization and IUD insertion, two of the most common reproductive health services, ICRW conducted an analysis and audit In Bihar, India, home to 103 million people, where there is a high unmet need for modern contraceptives.
The report describes where the gaps are within facilities, including a lack of qualified staff, few safe spaces for women to discuss questions or concerns about their reproductive health, missing necessary post-operative drugs, and the report details patients’ satisfaction with these services. The report also contains a host of recommendations that could be implemented immediately to ensure family planning services are performed in a safe, sanitary environment where women’s rights and entitlement to quality, comprehensive health care are respected.