Objectives: The objectives were to assess acceptors' attitudes toward Sayana® Press as a method and toward the mechanism of community-based distribution by medical and nursing (M/N) students, known locally as "DBCs," in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and to evaluate the experience of these DBCs.
Study design: In 2015, surveys were conducted among (1) acceptors of Sayana® Press on the day of the initial injection, (2) these same acceptors 3 months later and (3) the DBCs providing community-based services. The analysis was descriptive and involved no significance testing.
Results: Acceptors of Sayana® Press expressed high levels of satisfaction with the method, despite some pain experienced at injection and subsequent side effects. Although most were satisfied with the counseling and services received from the DBCs, less than one third realized that the providers were M/N students. The DBCs expressed satisfaction in serving as community-based distributors; more than 95% would recommend it to others. Their primary complaints were lack of remuneration, stockouts and need for greater supervision.
Conclusions: Consistent with results from previous pilot introductions of Sayana® Press in three African countries, clients were highly satisfied with Sayana® Press as a method. The reported preference for resupply at health centers may reflect a lack of client awareness that the DBCs administering methods near the health center were not in fact staff from the health center. The pilot served to gain acceptance for the use of M/N students in community-based distribution, paving the way for additional task-shifting pilots in Kinshasa.
Implications: Sayana® Press represents a promising new method for increasing access to modern contraception in low-income countries. The Kinshasa experience is the first to test the use of medical and nursing students as providers at the community level. The study reports high levels of satisfaction on three counts: acceptors of the contraceptive method, acceptors of the mode of service delivery, and DBCs in their role as providers of contraception at the community level. However, many clients were not aware that the DBCs were students. The study represents an important contribution to the literature on task-shifting, especially in a country with chronic shortages of healthcare personnel.
Keywords: Acceptor study; Community-based distribution; Injectables; Kinshasa, DRC; Medical & nursing students; Sayana® Press.
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