Joining forces to improve the quality of family planning services in Kyrgyzstan

WHO/Gunta Lazdane

Dr Gunta Lazdane facilitating a train the trainers course in Kyrgyzstan on safe and effective use of contraceptives

Following a strategic assessment in 2011 on the prevention of unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortion in Kyrgyzstan, a training of trainers course was conducted on 13–17 August 2012 to build knowledge within the health workforce on the medical criteria for safe and effective use of various types of contraception. Participants received training in how to counsel clients in the choice and correct use of contraceptives.

The assessment used the WHO strategic approach to strengthening sexual and reproductive health policies and programmes, and was carried out jointly by the Ministry of Health, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Kyrgyzstan and WHO/Europe. The results of the assessment clearly indicated a need to improve the knowledge of primary health care providers on who can use different contraceptives and how they are to be used.

Training course

The Ministry of Health nominated 23 trainers to participate in the training organized by the Ministry, UNFPA Kyrgyzstan, WHO/Europe and the European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health. The group of trainers was very diverse, ranging from academics experienced in teaching and training at postgraduate level to midwives who provide family planning services and were eager to learn and share their knowledge with others.

UNFPA Kyrgyzstan reprinted and distributed two WHO publications Medical eligibility criteria for contraceptive use and Selected practice recommendations for contraceptive use. The WHO medical eligibility criteria wheel became the most popular tool on the course, and was used in various interactive training sessions. Based on WHO evidence-based guidelines, the wheel tells family planning providers if a woman presenting with a known medical condition is able to use various contraceptive methods safely and effectively. The wheel includes recommendations on the use of the six most common types of contraceptive.

Cascade training of primary health care providers supported by UNFPA Kyrgyzstan is due to start in September 2012.