How to Integrate
This section of the toolkit provides practical knowledge of the why, how, when, and where of integrating maternal, infant and young child nutrition (MIYCN) and family planning (FP) as well as recommendations for how to integrate based on previous successful examples of integrated service delivery.
When to Integrate
There are numerous opportunities to integrate family planning and MIYCN services. The framework above outlines contact points for integration from antenatal care through two years postpartum (click the image to view a larger version). MIYCN and family planning can be integrated as part of facility services across all contact times as well as during community health worker (CHW) visits related to these services.
Why to Integrate
Integrating maternal, infant and young child nutrition and family planning (MIYCN-FP) is mutually beneficial to both technical areas and the mothers who seek services. Integrated service delivery can be cost effective and more efficient for women and providers for a myriad of reasons. By receiving multiple services at one time, the amount of time spent seeking services at facilities is limited, allowing women to carry on with their busy lives. Family planning leads to longer birth intervals which can reduce malnutrition. Exclusive breastfeeding delays fertility return and supports postpartum family planning.
How to Integrate
In order to make MIYCN-FP integration successful:
- Identify a champion and a task force for integration at the central level with ample representation from the health care level where integration is proposed (facility, community, factory, school)
- Ensure buy-in from and engagement of stakeholders at all levels (institutionalization)
- Identify/develop an integration package that includes relevant changes in policies and strategies, trainings, job aids, IEC materials
- Make sure that a plan for roll out and scale-up is in place
- Ensure that appropriate supplies (i.e. commodities) are available
- Include indicators to measure integrated services, supportive supervision, and reporting tools and possible HMIS changes
Where to Integrate
Integration is feasible at both the community and facility level. Community health workers can deliver integrated messages during counseling sessions at the household level. At the facility level, providers can also deliver integrated messages, give referrals, or even provide contraceptive methods.
These considerations are highlighted within other tabs on this toolkit. Recommendations and suggestions will be modified as more research and programmatic evidence becomes available. Resources highlighted below will help determine when and how to integrate MIYCN-FP. Detailed process documentation will highlight different integration models to help inform what type of integration works best for an individual program.