As a state program manager at Jhpiego, Ashish Kumar Srivastava has successfully demonstrated the model of postpartum family planning (PPFP) implementation, which contributed to India’s first strategic document on PPFP multi-year plan in alignment of the goals of FP2020. He has co-authored an article, published in international journal Contraception, highlighting that task sharing can be done without compromising on the quality of services in resource-constrained settings.
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.
As a program manager, I have successfully demonstrated the model of Post- partum Family planning (PPFP) implementation which has further led to India’s first “Vision and Strategic document on PPFP multi year plan in alignment of the goals of FP 2020.” and the access of PPFP services has extended to >70% of deliveries, happening at public health facilities. This has resulted in significant increase in contribution of PPFP methods by 0.12 million post-partum women. State of Bihar has acknowledged Jhpiego by conferring an award for outstanding contribution in FP program. As a researcher, I have co-authored an article, published in international journal, Contraception, highlighting that task sharing can be done without compromising on the quality of services in in resource constraint settings
What sparked your passion for family planning?
As a public health person I understood that FP being the most cost effective and high impact intervention to avert mortality of infant as well as pregnant women is best suited intervention for my native state Madhya Pradesh; state with high Infant mortality in India. After successful implementation of PPFP program there, opportunity to work in Bihar; state with highest Total fertility Rate which poses a new challenge of poor access and low quality services motivated me.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your family planning efforts, and what have you done to overcome it?
State of Bihar runs one of the most resource constraints “Public Health System”. Initially, it was very difficult to overcome the resistance to change; as Family Planning by all means meant Female Sterilization. A slow calculated and well planned initial implementation of the PPFP program resulted into breaking this inertia. Presently, PFPP methods are the second most used method in the state. Thereafter, I also supported state in developing a ‘Multi-Year Implementation Plan’ for rapid scale-up.
What is your (country/region/city)’s biggest challenge in family planning, and how can it be addressed?
The biggest challenge in FP program implementation is poor infrastructure and availability of trained human resource (HR). For improving the poor infrastructure we have been working closely for more allocation of budget through National Health Mission and also putting in low cost intervention. We have been focusing on integrating multi tasking, task shifting and task sharing to address the HR constraint e.g. task sharing was done for PPIUCD services from doctors to nursing staff.
What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years?
I envision scale up of PPFP services for universal access, operationalization of the Fixed Day Static services to break the ‘seasonality’ of the Female Sterilization services. I want to develop a community based implementation model for affordable, equitable, respectful, right based FP services which will in turn bring a transformational change in community where empowered women understand their right, practice their contraceptive choices and contribute in overall development of society.