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Family planning providers’ experiences and perceptions of long-acting reversible contraception in Lilongwe, Malawi

Tapika Mwafulirwa
Michele S. O’Shea
Gloria Hamela
Emilia Samuel
Christine Chingondole
Virginia Chipangula
Mina C. Hosseinipour
Jennifer H. Tang


Less than 2% of Malawian women use long-acting reversible contraception (LARC). We describe experiences of Malawian family planning providers, focusing on LARC. We conducted a mixed-methods study using questionnaires and focus group discussions with providers in Lilongwe. Data were analyzed separately and triangulated. Most (58%) participants saw over 30 patients daily. Only 19% had ever inserted IUC. Qualitative data were complementary; participants noted that LARC provision was important, though hindered by lack of experienced providers, work burden, and low demand. Future efforts to improve LARC access in Lilongwe must address both supply and demand-side barriers. (Afr J Reprod Health 2016; 20[2]: 62-71).

Keywords: Family planning, long-acting reversible contraception, Malawi

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eISSN: 1118-4841