Strengthening youth friendly health services through expanding method choice to include long-acting reversible contraceptives for Ethiopian youth
Despite robust evidence regarding long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) low failure rates, immediate return to fertility and safety, LARC uptake among youth is low. We evaluated the effect on contraceptive uptake of training youth-friendly service providers to counsel and provide all contraceptive methods including LARCs in the same unit. A convenience purposive sampling technique was used to select 20 youth friendly health units; ten each in Amhara and Tigray regions, Ethiopia; randomly allocated to the intervention (five) and non-intervention (five) arms. Data were abstracted from the family planning registers over an eleven-month period: three months pre-intervention and eight months post-intervention. Analysis of contraceptive uptake and chi-square tests of association were conducted. The number of LARCs new acceptors in the intervention arm was 781 (pre-intervention=116; post intervention=665) as compared to 358 in the non-intervention arm (pre-intervention=95; post intervention=263). Odds of adopting LARCs at pre-intervention (0.70); rose to 1.30 for the post-intervention phase (p-value <0.0001); comparing intervention to non-intervention study arms. Training youth friendly service providers to counsel and provide all contraceptive methods including LARCs in one location resulted in higher LARCs uptake for all sexually active young women; including those planning on delaying their first pregnancy.
Keywords: Youth, long-acting reversible contraceptives, expanded method choice, one-stop shop