Health Communication

A female health worker distributes contraceptive pills to a woman in Kishorimohanpur village, West Bengal, India. © 2012 Tushar Sharma, Courtesy of PhotoshareEffective communication activities in family planning programs raise awareness about available contraceptive methods, including oral contraceptives (OCs); motivate women to seek methods; and help clients use their chosen method effectively. The Health Communication section of the Oral Contraceptives Toolkit contains tools and information to help donors, program managers, family planning promoters, and service providers build a supportive environment for OC use.

The resources included offer tips and guidelines to assist with well-informed and effective communication and promotion of oral contraceptives. Health care professionals can use a number of communication strategies to improve access to and effective use of OCs. Among these strategies are:

  • Information, Education, and Communication (IEC), a process of working with individuals, communities, and societies to develop context-appropriate communication strategies to promote healthful behaviors such as OC use among those who desire a modern contraceptive method. Please visit the Service Delivery page for counseling tools and job aids to enhance provider-client communication. For fact sheets and briefs on oral contraceptives, please visit the Essential Knowledge section of this Toolkit.
  • Behavior change communication (BCC), which involves IEC in addition to the provision of a supportive environment that will enable people to initiate and sustain safer behaviors such as correct and consistent OC use.
  • Social marketing, a strategy in which programs develop contraceptive brands and market and sell the brands to a particular population through promotional campaigns. Using traditional marketing techniques, social marketing makes needed products available and affordable, while encouraging the adoption of healthier behavior. Social marketing has been used in many countries to ensure continued availability of affordable oral contraceptives.

To access family planning advocacy materials, please visit the Family Planning Advocacy Toolkit.

Do you have a comment about this Toolkit or a resource you'd like to suggest for inclusion? Share your suggestions, comments, and questions through the feedback form.