How Do We Make Quality a National and Global Priority?
Around the world, 214 million women and girls want to prevent pregnancy but need modern contraception. While national and international interest in expanding access to reproductive health is on the rise, policymakers often don’t place enough emphasis on the rights of the women and girls and the quality of care they receive.
That’s why PAI has launched QUEST: Quality Upheld, Every Service, Every Time. This initiative will examine national and global trends relating to quality and rights, and strengthen the abilities of local advocates to make the case for quality and rights to be a national priority.
What Does Quality Mean?
Quality services are key to truly fulfilling reproductive and human rights. A woman receives high quality care when she can choose from the full range of contraceptive options to fit her needs and when the information she receives is accurate, appropriate, and timely. That means that the clinical and other personnel she interacts with are technically competent and free of judgment. It also means that any follow-up services she needs are available and of equal caliber.
What Influences Quality?
When it comes to quality, many dynamics are at play before a woman even walks into a clinic. First, the political and legal context affects the kinds of care she might receive. Is there a law for example dictating that a teenager can only access sexual and reproductive health services with the consent of a parent? Then, there is the cultural context. Is a woman’s autonomy and decision-making authority respected? Other factors stem from the health system itself: is there enough funding for infrastructure and programs? Are staff appropriately trained?
PAI traveled to India, Kenya, and Malawi to understand the factors that can contribute to or undermine the quality of care a woman receives. The images below provide a glimpse into how critical quality care is to fulfilling sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Who Are Our Key In-Country Partners and Where Are They Located?
Si Jeunesse Savait (SJS) – Democratic Republic of Congo
Heartfile – Pakistan
A Global Structural Examination of Quality and Rights
Our new report draws on the findings from landscape assessments of health systems’ legal, policy and governance frameworks conducted by partner organizations in each country between 2016 and 2017. The findings from the individual landscape assessments are supplemented with additional research conducted by PAI staff to provide context and thematic alignment among partner organizations’ findings.
Drawing on examples from the five QUEST countries, the report expands on 6 central themes and frames them through an examination of the Influencing Environment, Health System Strength and Management, as well as Values and Community Norms. Through this analysis, PAI aims to understand quality in reproductive health programs, as well as support changes in policies and health systems, correct imbalances and replicate conditions that drive quality.