Children by choice
When girls and women have access to high-quality safe family planning, the number of untimely and unwanted pregnancies decreases, maternal mortality and morbidity rates fall, child health progresses and women’s socioeconomic status advances. Women of reproductive age represent one third of Senegal’s population, but only 23% use modern contraceptive methods. We fund MSI Reproductive Choices’ mobile family planning interventions to provide girls and women in remote, rural regions of north-western Senegal with regular access to free high-quality sexual and reproductive health services.
While Senegal has made gains in health indicators, socio-economic barriers still impede access to sexual and reproductive health services, particularly for underserved rural and youth populations.
Senegal’s cultural and religious norms around family planning often limit contraceptive uptake. The contraceptive prevalence rate in the country is as low as 23%, with a large disparity between women in urban and rural areas. Without adequate access to contraception, girls and women are often unable to access an education or have a career. Many find it very difficult to look after their large families and live in extreme poverty.
Our funding allows one mobile outreach team to provide life-changing counselling, family planning options and follow-up support to remote and rural communities in eight districts of Louga region in North West of Senegal, where there is a high unmet need for family planning services and limited awareness and acceptance of them. In every district visited, the mobile team operates in public health facilities, schools and villages to guarantee maximum coverage. Outreach is MSI Reproductive Choices’ most effective way of reaching people who don’t have access to contraception. The services provided by their 11 mobile outreach teams are completely free of charge.
MSI Reproductive Choices’ outreach team is expected to reach some 12,000 girls and women in the Louga region over two years.
This outreach effort will prevent over 39,000 unintended pregnancies, 12,400 unsafe abortions and 68 maternal deaths.
Long term strategy
MSI Reproductive Choices has an established track record of improving access to contraception and family planning services across the country. The organisation’s outreach strategy is in line with the Government of Senegal’s family planning strategy and commitment to more than double contraceptive prevalence in five years to 45% by 2020.