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Glob Health Sci Pract. 2018 Dec 27;6(4):711-722. doi: 10.9745/GHSP-D-18-00117. Print 2018 Dec 27.

Introduction of Subcutaneous Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate (DMPA-SC) Injectable Contraception at Facility and Community Levels: Pilot Results From 4 Districts of Uganda.

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Population Council, Nairobi, Kenya.
International Planned Parenthood Federation, London, United Kingdom.
Reproductive Health Uganda, Kampala, Uganda.
Population Council, Nairobi, Kenya.
International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region, Nairobi, Kenya.


Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU), a local NGO, introduced subcutaneous depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA-SC, brand name Sayana Press) in 4 districts of Uganda between April 2016 and March 2017. RHU trained public and private facility providers on all family planning methods including DMPA-SC; trained community health workers (known as village health teams, VHTs) to give family planning counseling, provide short-acting methods including DMPA-SC, and make referrals for long-acting and permanent methods; conducted mobile outreach and raised awareness of family planning; and provided family planning commodities. We used a retrospective cross-sectional evaluation design drawing on data from (1) in-depth interviews with 32 facility- and community-based providers; (2) key informant interviews with 7 policy makers and program staff; and (3) family planning program statistics from 4 RHU clinics, 26 mobile outreach sites, and 40 VHTs in 4 study districts. Data collection took place between April and June 2017. Over 12 months, 14,273 units of DMPA-SC were provided in RHU clinics, by mobile outreach teams, and by VHTs. DMPA-SC units were mostly administered in community settings either by VHTs (70%) or at mobile outreach events (26%). A substantial proportion (43%) of DMPA-SC units were administered to young people (<25 years), a significantly higher proportion compared with other methods provided to this age group through the project (P<.001), except condoms. In addition, a greater proportion of DMPA-SC units provided at the community level by VHTs were used by young people (45%) compared with units provided at outreach (36%) or in clinics (35%). Overall, injectables (DMPA-SC and intramuscular DMPA combined) came to represent 43% of all contraceptive methods provided, up from a baseline of 20%. This shift occurred despite significant increases in the volume of all other methods provided (P<.001). Qualitative data revealed various factors that facilitated introduction, including comprehensive training, commodity availability, strong referral links, and early community engagement. RHU's experience supports the viability of community-based delivery of DMPA-SC and identifies opportunities to strengthen this approach. There is further evidence that DMPA-SC may be popular with young people, especially in community settings.

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