Strengthening access to long-acting reversible contraception within postabortion care in Tanzania: A pre-post evaluation

Colin Baynes, Danielle Garfinkel, Justin Kahwa, Grace Lusiola, Kathryn A. O’Connell


Postabortion care services provide lifesaving treatment for abortion-related complications and addresses women’s needs by offering family planning (FP) counseling and voluntary access to contraception. Between 2016 and 2020, the Government of Tanzania sought to strengthen its PAC program by enhancing FP counseling and clients’ access to a wide range of contraceptive options. The project team conducted a pre-post evaluation in 17 public sector healthcare facilities in mainland Tanzania and 8 in Zanzibar. It comprised structured client exit interviews (CEIs), completed first in 2016 (n=412) and again in 2020 (n=484). These data complemented an evaluation that used routine service statistics to demonstrate the intervention’s effects on client-reported outcomes. Primary outcomes of the CEIs reflected client experience and satisfaction with services, and researchers compared pre-post differences using chi-square tests. There were improvements in numerous indicators, including client waiting times, recall of emergency procedure counseling, contraceptive uptake, and satisfaction with the quality of overall counseling and FP information and services; however, triangulation of CEI data with service statistics indicated that some outcomes, though still improved since baseline, attenuated. Strengthening the FP component of PAC is feasible in Tanzania and Zanzibar, but strategies to sustain quality improvements over time are needed. (Afr J Reprod Health 2022; 26[5]: 28-40).

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