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At MSS, we are committed to improving access to affordable, voluntary, quality family planning and reproductive health services. Keeping in view the unmet need for reproductive healthcare in the country, we work to make our services available to underserved communities, low-income groups and people in hard-to-reach areas. We achieve this using a multi-tiered service model.
Behtar Zindagi Centers*
At the core of our service delivery network are 74 Behtar Zindagi Centers. Present in 68 districts across Pakistan, clients come to us for professional, confidential, correct information to make voluntary and informed choices from a full range of reproductive health options.
Suraj Social Franchise
In 2008, MSS launched its Suraj Social Franchise (SF) network to engage the private sector for provision of quality, voluntary family planning services, thereby strengthening its contribution to public health goals. The model is essentially a ‘partnership’ between MSS and private local health services providers and aims to improve quality of family planning and reproductive health services, increase informed demand, access and choices for rural, underserved and poor communities. Piloted with 100 private healthcare providers in 18 districts, today this number has increased to almost 600 private service providers in over 45 districts of rural and remote areas of Pakistan.
Demand Side Financing
Central to the Social Franchising model is a demand-side supply comprising ‘vouchers’ redeemable for free quality services provided by the social franchisee. Vouchers address women’s financial, social and cultural barriers impeding uptake of family planning services. Vouchers have significantly facilitated addressing women’s contraceptive needs. On average, 94% of vouchers provided are redeemed for services!
While raising the quality and access of family planning services in most remote and rural areas of Pakistan, the social franchise program provides a sustainable livelihood to local private healthcare providers by raising their service provision and business skills.
Mobile Outreach Services
In keeping with its commitment to make family planning services available and accessible to the under served, MSS takes mobile services to far-flung rural areas, reaching out to remote communities who would otherwise have no access to family planning services. Our outreach teams counsel and inform women on healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies and provide voluntary, comprehensive family planning services to communities that can be at a distance of more than 200 Kilometers from the District city hub or nearest reproductive healthcare facility.
Field-based Health Educators (FHE)
MSS develops field-based health educators (FHEs) to engage with women to talk about maternal health issues and the benefits of healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies. These FHEs make door to door visits to provide information on the range of available contraceptive methods, support couples to make an informed and voluntary choice on contraceptive uptake and connect them to the closest MSS Centre, outreach service or Suraj clinic in the area. The FHE also provides follow up support to a client who has received family planning services, thereby addressing a vital requirement in side-effect management, contraceptive method continuation and/or method switch. MSS currently has a cadre of almost 600 FHEs associated with each social franchisee.
Reproductive Health Private Providers
In last quarter of 2012, MSS added a tier of service providers to expand access to comprehensive, voluntary and quality reproductive health services to far-flung communities. This service delivery cadre is branded and referred to as Pehli Kiran providers. Over a period of four years, MSS will develop a cadre of 2,400 Pehli Kiran Reproductive Health Private Providers (RHPPs) who will serve as the first port of call in local communities for information on healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies, counseling on family planning choices, and referral to MSS Suraj Social Franchise clinics.
24/7 Toll Free Health Helpline
MSS runs a helpline 0800 22333 staffed by doctors and trained call agents. The helpline functions as the last tier in the service model as virtual-services have proven to be an excellent source of providing information, side effect management, referrals to service facilities and receiving client feedback, helping MSS improve its services in meeting clients’ needs.
Sexual and Reproductive Health Matters!
MSS’s bilingual, interactive information portal (www.srhmatters.org) is the first website of its kind in Pakistan. Designed to be both interactive and educational, the site offers confidential, impartial, free online support, with a panel of professional doctors and psychologists responding to email queries within 24 hours. In 2011, we added a blog to enable visitors to comment and express their views, generating online discourse on a range of sexual and reproductive health issues.