A lot needs to change if we are to make contraceptive choice a reality for every woman. Public sector social franchising has the potential to unlock real change in Mali and in low income countries around the world. The term sounds complicated, but the principle is simple: leverage the country’s existing network of health facilities to maximize the contraceptive choices available to women. Mali currently has a contraceptive prevalence of nearly 10%, with long-acting and reversible and permanent methods of contraception accounting for just 0.2% of the method mix. When more family planning (FP) options are available, more individuals can meet their reproductive intention to delay, space, or limit future births.
To expand access to a broader range of FP methods for women and couples, MSI/Mali and the Ministry of Health brought together 102 health clinics under the social franchise BlueStar brand. Many of these clinics already offer short-acting contraceptive options. However, when health clinics join the BlueStar social franchise network, MSI provides support to increase the range of FP methods available to include intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants. MSI trains doctors, nurses, and midwives to provide these additional options. We also support the management of supply chains to prevent commodity stock-outs, as well as assist health facilities to raise awareness of available FP choices.