Adapting High Impact Practices in Family Planning During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Experiences From Kenya, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe

Glob Health Sci Pract. 2022 Aug 30;10(4):e2200064. doi: 10.9745/GHSP-D-22-00064. Print 2022 Aug 30.


Background: We describe how High Impact Practices (HIPs) in family planning (FP) were adapted across Kenya, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe to maintain access to services in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Methods: Using a qualitative data collection tool structured around 3 HIP categories (service delivery, demand creation, and enabling environment), adaptations in FP programs during the pandemic were documented. We describe adaptations made to 3 specific HIPs: mobile outreach, community health workers, and digital health for social and behavior change.

Program experiences: In Zimbabwe, the Mhuri/Imuli project adapted its mobile outreach model integrating community-based outreach with facility-based outreach. The number of outreach clients served per week peaked at 1,759 (July 2020) from a low of 203 (May 2020). Clients choosing long-acting reversible methods increased from 22% to 59% during the 3 months before and after lockdown, respectively.In Kenya, a program addressed youth's hesitation to visit health facilities through youth community health volunteers, who provided counseling, community dialogues, contraceptive pills, and condoms. Over 6 months, the program reached 1,048 youth with community dialogues, and 4,656 youth received FP services. In Nigeria, peer mobilizers provided services through a socially distanced community-based program to help adolescent girls access contraceptive self-injection when movement restrictions limited youth's ability to travel to facilities.In Nigeria, Adolescents 360 adapted sexual and reproductive health information programs for virtual delivery through WhatsApp. A contraceptive education Facebook campaign gained more than 80,000 followers, reached 5.9 million adolescents, and linked 330 adolescents to program-supported facilities from January to March 2021. In Kenya, the Kibera-based project used WhatsApp to reach youth with discussion groups and health workers with skills strengthening.

Conclusion: Monitoring how projects adapt HIPs to ensure continuity of care during the COVID-19 pandemic can help inform the implementation of successful adaptations in the face of present and future challenges.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Contraceptive Agents
  • Family Planning Services* / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kenya / epidemiology
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Pandemics
  • Zimbabwe / epidemiology


  • Contraceptive Agents