On January 10, 2014, the government of DRC adopted the Plan Strategique Nationale de Planification Familiale 2014-2020. The plan is the product of a yearlong, participatory and collaborative process between the government and various actors, involving local and international NGOs, religious institutions, international donors, and the private sector. It is part of the Plan National de Developmment Sanitaire (PNDS) and will contribute to the government's efforts to reduce maternal, infant and child mortality.
The Strategic Plan has two primary objectives:
Six secondary objectives relate to increasing government engagement in family planning, improving public and private sector access to family planning services for men and women, increasing the quality of services provided, stimulating demand, developing a logistical system for managing contraceptives, and implementing a system of monitoring and evaluation.
The plan provides the demographic, historical and health system context necessary to understand the current situation of family planning in the DRC and synthesizes key priority challenges in terms of access, financing, human resources, demand creation, availability of information, contraceptive availability, and governance. It sets forth detailed timelines for achieving each of the primary and secondary objectives and for monitoring and evaluating progress.
The Strategic Plan was formally launched on February 13, 2014 at the Grand Hotel in Kinshasa in the presence of over 120 stakeholders from government, NGOs, the donor community and others. This launch was paired with the introduction of Tulane University's new family planning project, named the ACQUAL Project (for "Access and Quality"), funded by the Packard Foundation.
During the launch two recently completed surveys were presented. The results of the PMA 2020 study showed an increase of the modern contraceptive prevalence in Kinshasa from 14.1% (DHS 2007) to 18.2%. Results of a facility-based survey showed an increase in the number of health facilities providing family planning from 184 in 2012 to 398 in 2013. Moreover, the percent of family planning sites achieving a "3-star rating" increased from 42% to 63%. Innovative mapping showed the distribution of family planning sites across Kinshasa and health zones underserved by FP services.
In sum, the launch of the Strategic Plan and of the Packard project contributed to further strengthening the current momentum for family planning in the DRC.