Engaging community health workers to enhance modern contraceptive uptake among young first-time parents in five cities of Uttar Pradesh

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Introduction: Young newly married women and first-time parents (FTPs), particularly those living in slum settlements, have a high unmet need for modern contraceptive methods to limit and space births. We describe an intervention in which adolescents and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) services tailored to FTPs were incorporated into the government’s existing family planning (FP) program in 5 cities of Uttar Pradesh. We examined the effect of this intervention on modern contraceptive use among FTPs aged 15–24 years. Methods: To assess the effect of this pilot, in 2019, 1 year after the implementation of the program, we analyzed community-based output tracking survey data on 549 married women who are FTPs in the pilot cities. These FTPs were compared with 253 women who were FTPs from other cities where the program was implemented without a specific focus on FTPs. Descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression analysis were applied to understand the association between exposure to FP information, either through accredited social health activists or through service delivery points, and use of modern contraceptives. Results: Use of modern contraceptives was higher among FTPs in the 5 pilot cities than non-pilot cities (39% vs. 32%; P<.05). The interaction effect of city type and exposure to the information showed a positive association between modern contraceptive use and program exposure, greater in pilot cities than non-pilot cities. Conclusions: Higher uptake of modern contraceptives among young women may be achieved when an FTP-focused intervention is layered on the government’s existing FP programs. Future studies with a longer duration of implementation, in a wider geography, and with longitudinal design are recommended to provide more robust measures of high impact intervention/practices in urban areas.