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Karachi, Pakistan

Tappis H.,Johns Hopkins University | Kazi A.,Heartfile | Hameed W.,Marie Stopes Society | Dahar Z.,Jhpiego Pakistan | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Introduction Rapid population growth, stagnant contraceptive prevalence, and high unmet need for family planning present significant challenges for meeting Pakistan's national and international development goals. Although health behaviors are shaped by multiple social and environmental factors, research on contraceptive uptake in Pakistan has focused on individual and household determinants, and little attention has been given to community characteristics that may affect access to services and reproductive behavior. Methods Individual and community determinants of contraceptive use were identified using multivariable multilevel logistic regression to analyze data from a 2014 cross-sectional survey of 6,200 mothers in 503 communities in Sindh, Pakistan. Results Only 27% of women who had given birth in the two years before the study reported using contraceptives. After adjusting for individual and community characteristics, there was no difference in the odds of contraceptive use between urban and rural women. Women who had delivered at a health facility had 1.4 times higher odds of contraceptive use than women who delivered at home. Those who received information about birth spacing from a doctor or relatives/friends had 1.81 and 1.38 times higher odds of contraceptive use, respectively, than those who did not. Living in a community where a higher proportion of women received quality antenatal care and where discussion of birth spacing was more common was significantly associated with contraceptive use. Community-wide poverty lowered contraceptive use. Conclusions Quality of care at the community level has strong effects on contraceptive use, independent of the characteristics of individual households or women. These findings suggest that powerful gains in contraceptive use may be realized by improving the quality of antenatal care in Pakistan. Community health workers should focus on generating discussion of birth spacing in the community. Outreach efforts should target communities where the demand for contraception appears to be depressed due to high levels of poverty. © 2015 Tappis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Shaikh B.T.,Health Services Academy | Azmat S.K.,Marie Stopes Society | Mazhar A.,Health Services Academy
JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association | Year: 2013

The population of the world reached seven billion in 2012. Pakistan's population stands at more than 180 million, is growing rapidly, and has the highest unmet need for family planning (FP) in isolated rural areas. The low usage of contraception in the rural areas of Pakistan correlates with the level of isolation, poverty, illiteracy, and to a large extent, religious misinterpretations/misconceptions. Almost 25% of couples who desired FP services were not receiving them for a variety of reasons of which religion could be one, especially in the rural remote areas where the media is still not reaching and influencing mind-sets. In this scenario, the role of social marketing in bringing about attitudinal and behavioural change among users in underserved areas and gatekeepers and opinion makers in society must not be neglected. The work in promoting FP, contraception and birth spacing requires authentic evidence from similar sociocultural contexts and this endeavour of compiling case studies from various Islamic countries on their FP initiatives is a good step. Governments around the world, including many in the Islamic world, support FP programmes to enable individuals and couples to choose the number and timing of their children. This paper is a review of secondary data accessed through PubMed and Google Scholar. It provides an overview of Islamic countries' policies on, and support for FP and modern contraception. For this purpose, literature from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Turkey was included. There are significant internal social and economic reasons to focus on FP in the Muslim world. Thus, arguments by religious scholars who see FP as an external western conspiracy aimed at curtailing the growth and strength of the Islamic world appear to be uninformed of both the socio-political and demographic realities in many Muslim countries, as well as the historical permissibility of contraception within the Islamic legacy. In fact, it can be argued that given the profound socio-economic and political difficulties in various parts of the Muslim world, a lack of FP and increasing populations would weaken and curtail the pace of overall development. Private institutions and the government must collaborate in leveraging initiatives and bridging gaps for more robust advocacy with clergymen and religious scholars to support the larger cause of FP and birth spacing i.e. improving infant and maternal health in Pakistan.

Lendvay A.,FHI 360 | Otieno-Masaba R.,FHI 360 | Azmat S.K.,Marie Stopes Society | Wheeless A.,FHI 360 | And 6 more authors.
Contraception | Year: 2014

Background Sino-implant (II) is a two-rod subcutaneous contraceptive implant used up to 4 years, containing 150 mg of levonorgestrel. We conducted two observational studies of Sino-implant (II) to evaluate its performance in routine service delivery settings. Methods We enrolled 1326 women age 18-44 who had Sino-implant (II) inserted at clinics in Pakistan and Kenya. Women were followed-up using either an active or passive follow-up scheme in each study. Study outcomes were: one-year cumulative pregnancy and discontinuation rates; rates of insertion and removal complications; adverse event and side effect rates; reasons for discontinuation; and implant acceptability and satisfaction with clinic services. Results A total of 754 women returned for at least one follow-up visit. The overall Pearl pregnancy rate was 0.4 per 100 woman-years [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.1, 0.9] resulting from 1 confirmed post-insertion pregnancy in Kenya and 4 in Pakistan. Country-specific Pearl rates were 0.2 (95% CI 0.0, 0.9) in Kenya and 0.6 (95% CI 0.2, 1.6) in Pakistan. The total cumulative 12-month probability of removal was 7.6% (95% CI 6.1, 9.1), with country-specific removal probabilities of 3.7% in Kenya (95% CI 2.1, 5.3) and 10.8% in Pakistan (95% CI 8.5, 13.2). Four serious adverse events occurred in Kenya and none occurred in Pakistan; one SAE (an ectopic pregnancy) was possibly related to Sino-implant (II). Most women in both countries said they would recommend the implant to others. Conclusion The results from these studies reveal high effectiveness and favorable safety and acceptability during the first year of use of Sino-implant. Implication The favorable Sino-implant (II) findings from Kenya and Pakistan provide further evidence from disparate regions that Sino-implant (II) is safe, effective and acceptable during routine service delivery. © 2014 The Authors . Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Azmat S.K.,University of Karachi | Hameed W.,Marie Stopes Society | Ali M.,World Health Organization | Ishaque M.,Marie Stopes Society | And 4 more authors.
Reproductive Health | Year: 2015

Background: Pakistan observes a very high i.e. 37 percent modern contraceptive method related discontinuation rates within 12 months of their initiation. And almost 10 percent of these episodes of discontinuation happened due to the side effects or health concerns experienced by the women. Most importantly, it was noted that more than 12,000 first-level care facilities are located in the rural areas, including rural health centers, basic health units, and family welfare centers, but more than 30% of these facilities are nonfunctional. This paper presents a study protocol and participants' profiling of a prospective cohort follow-up to compare the effectiveness of household based and telephonic approaches in sustaining the use of Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC) whilst to facilitate lowering method related discontinuation and increasing switching amongst the contraceptive users. Methods: A 12-month multi-centre, non-inferiority prospective user follow-up is employed using three different study categories: a) household based follow-up; b) telephonic follow-up; and c) passive or need-based follow-up along with the hypothetical assumption that the telephonic client follow-up is not inferior to the household based follow-up by continuation rate of LARC and the telephonic follow-up is less-costly than the household based client follow-up. This follow-up will be conducted in 22 health facilities - (16 rural and 6 urban based facilities) in district Chakwal. The first two study categories will receive scheduled but different follow-up from the field workers at 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 month while the third one i.e. the 'passive or need-based follow-up' will serve as a control group. Using sampling software PASS 11, it was estimated to have 414 clients in each study category and around 1366 clients will be recruited to account for 10% attrition rate. Discussion: The study will help us to examine a more convenient method of effective follow-up for managing side effects, decreasing method discontinuation and increasing switching amongst users. The study information will also facilitate to develop a robust, effective and efficient mechanism for client follow-up to promote the continuation rates of LARC methods. The follow-up results and lessons learnt will be widely shared with stakeholders for their implementation and streamlining in health system. © 2015 Azmat et al.; licensee BioMed Central.

Azmat S.K.,Marie Stopes Society | Bilgrami M.,Marie Stopes Society | Shaikh B.T.,Marie Stopes Society | Mustafa G.,Marie Stopes Society | Hameed W.,Marie Stopes Society
European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care | Year: 2012

Background The number of unsafe abortions is increasing across South Asia, also in Pakistan, where abortion is only permitted under special circumstances. The law on abortion is vaguely interpreted by the legal community. Methods Using Grounded Theory, 33 in-depth interviews of representatives of the legal profession and law enforcement agencies were conducted in 2010. Results Abortion is perceived as forbidden by both law and religion, and a punishable crime. Respondents believed that sentences are highly dependent on the social status of the woman who had the abortion. A few consider the current law as relevant and sufficient whereas the majority would support amendments. A number of them agreed that the high abortion rate reflects the denial of women's rights, social injustice, and a failure of public health intervention. Conclusion To facilitate access of women to abortion and related care, the knowledge of the existing law among legal professionals must improve. The implications of abortion for maternal health and its repercussions on a community governed by the Islamic dogmas must be publicised. The legal community could have an instrumental role in bringing about attitudinal changes vis-vis abortions in the society. © 2012 The European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health.

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