Ethiopia using health data for decision-making at each level of health system to achieve family planning milestones

If you cannot measure it, then it does not exist.

Stewart Tichaona Muchapera, Communications Officer, East and Southern African FP2030 Regional Hub 

Ethiopia is making great strides in using data for evidence-based decision making at each level of the health system to achieve universal health coverage including family planning.  

According to Dr. Meseret Zelalem Tadesse, the lead Executive, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health in the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Ethiopia, it was critical that they use timely and accurate  data  

The data’s source is derived from tools like the MOH’s Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) and the Scorecard.  A scorecard in healthcare is a performance management tool used by healthcare organizations to identify and track strategic objectives.  

“Our big milestone is to increase the access of modern contraceptives to all women and girls and our programming even at sub-level is to be informed by well researched, timely accurate data,” said Dr. Tadesse. 

According to PMA 2020 the Method Information Index (MII) in Ethiopia is at 13%. This shows that only 1 in 10 women are receiving quality family planning information when they visit a facility for family planning service.  

To improve the quality of family planning, the government of Ethiopia has developed a family planning counselling pocket guide and enhanced capacity building of health workers providing family planning services.  

The method mix for long-acting reversible contraceptive such as IUCD is quite low at 2% (PMA 2020). The Ministry of Health has developed the IUCD Scale UP for improving family planning method mix policy document.  

MOH is utilizing data from surveys such as PMA, Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) and Family Planning Estimating Tool (FPET) to identify gaps or challenges that need to be addressed to improve equity, uptake, and quality of FP/SRH services. 

The use of monitoring tools such as RMNCAH scorecard and dashboards at both national and subnational regions (regional health bureaus) has given the MoH visibility on performance of the different FP indicators for each region.  

This has helped in identifying region-specific interventions to increase the overall mCPR from 41% to 54%. For instance, in the pastoralist regions the contraceptive acceptance rate and prevalence is quite low as compared to the rest of the regions. The MoH is working on sensitizing the community leaders from such regions on the importance of Family Planning as a tool for development. 

MP4 Video Minister of Health Ethiopia on the FP2030 Commitments Ethiopia Minister of Health, Lia Tadesse Gebremedhin  

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