Over the course of three weeks, concluding in March, a family planning supervisory patrol was conducted by the CMCA Middle and South Fly Health Program (CMSFHP), Marie Stopes PNG, and the Western Province Family Health Service Coordinator. The purpose of the patrol was to supervise and assess health workers who were trained in 2016 to conduct contraceptive implants.
In May and July of last year, CMSFHP, with the North Fly Health Services Development Program (NFHSDP) facilitated two trainings for long-lasting contraceptive methods. As part of this patrol in March, 22 of these trainees were certified as clinically competent and capable of providing these services to the communities they work in.
As a component to the training, trainees are to complete adequate practice of implants before they can be deemed competent to provide the service. They are then assessed at the end of completing this practice to ensure they meet the competencies as outlined by Marie Stopes to receive their certification to practice independently.
“Training and clinical supervision are essential tasks to maintain and empower the clinical staffs to improve their practice and certify them competent,” CMSFHP Family Planning Officer, Rita Kengem John, expressed following the supervisory patrol.
The contraceptive implant is a long-lasting family planning method that lasts up to 4 years, making it an ideal solution for women who do not have readily accessible health services. A small rod is placed just under the skin in the inner upper arm, and slowly releases the hormone progestin to prevent pregnancy over time.
Since 2015, CMSFHP and NFHSDP, in partnership with National Family Planning Training Marie Stopes PNG have trained 34 health professionals from 20 different health facilities across all three districts. As a result, 3 103 women have received contraceptive implants in Western Province since 2015.
“I feel this is a great achievement for the Province… trained health workers are present in most remote and rural health facilities providing protection against unwanted pregnancies,” John stated.
The CMSFHP is funded by the CMCA portion of the Western Province People’s Dividend Trust Fund through Ok Tedi Development Foundation (OTDF), and NFHSDP is funded by Ok Tedi Mining Limited. Both programs are managed by OTDF and implemented by Abt Associates.