USHAPE: New Era of Reflection and Growth

Anita Dam

USAID Global Health Bureau, Office of Population & Reproductive Health | Family Planning Workforce & Communications Intern

USHAPE Training Session 1

USHAPE Training Session ©USHAPE/Margaret Pyke Trust

We are excited to once again feature USHAPE (Uganda Sexual Health and Pastoral Education) on the Family Planning Training Resource Package website as it begins a new chapter under the management of the Margaret Pyke Trust. The Margaret Pyke Trust is based in the United Kingdom and has around 50 years of history providing sexual and reproductive health services along with implementing research and training for health care workers. They have the broadest range of sexual and reproductive health training courses in the UK for health care staff. In the last few years, the Margaret Pyke Trust have started working internationally to address the need to advance sexual and reproductive health services and trainings in low- to middle-income countries. Taking over the management of USHAPE only seemed natural, since USHAPE was originally created by UK based volunteer doctors. It has been an optimistic transition for USHAPE to come under the Margaret Pyke Trust as there has been a continued effort to increase capacity of USHAPE’s training programs.

USHAPE Training Session 2

USHAPE Training Session ©USHAPE/Margaret Pyke Trust

In the past few years, we have noted USHAPE’s adaptations of the TRP and its use in pilot training programs at Bwindi Community Hospital and Kisiizi Hospital to build knowledge among family planning service providers and expand the ability of providers to deliver services to the community. The Margaret Pyke Trust funds a full time family planning nurse at Bwindi Community Hospital in order to strengthen and ensure a sustainable future for the current implemented USHAPE program. Moving forward, the Margaret Pyke Trust is finalizing the USHAPE pilot training program into an adaptable and expandable model. The hope is to start replicating the model in different settings, with each institution leading on its implementation of USHAPE. Preparing for this capacity building feat includes thorough monitoring and evaluation to measure the significant impact of contraceptive prevalence rates, family planning uptake, etc. Kat Lloyd, the Program and Operations Manager at Margaret Pyke Trust, commented, “It is a time of reflection and consolidation [for us], and we are hoping that this will prepare us for the [USHAPE] expansion in the coming years.”

Meanwhile, UK based doctors continue to act as short term volunteers at the USHAPE-implemented sites. One of these volunteers and the USHAPE Clinical Lead, Dr. Clare Goodhart, provided us insight on the TRP influence on creating and continuing to update the USHAPE training program: “When we first started developing the USHAPE 'Whole Institution Approach to Family Planning', we were keen not to 'reinvent the wheel'. We searched the internet and were excited to come across the Training Resource Package because it aligns to the guidance of the Family Planning Global Handbook, which we knew needed to be central to our training. Importantly, the TRP makes it clear that you can freely adapt its materials. We were able to pick out the PowerPoint presentation, role plays and case discussions, which are needed to teach the available family planning methods.

"It took quite a lot of work to reduce the TRP materials so they fit into the different levels of USHAPE training, as we needed to build in other modules to address real life scenarios, such as adolescent-friendly contraception, HIV, sexual infection, cervical screening, post abortion care etc. We put a lot of emphasis on counselling and outreach to the community and felt we had to move beyond the suggestions of the TRP to achieve this. We also vary USHAPE training by integrating short films, which helps with the quality of teaching and reduces pressure of the trainers. However, the TRP has been a great starting point for creating USHAPE training and we often return to it when creating outreach materials, refresher training or for the training of trainers. We are keen to continue to work with the John Hopkins team to move family planning training forward worldwide.”

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