Family Planning and Immunization Integration: Reaching postpartum women with family planning services
Both immunization and family planning services are important components of primary health care. Child immunizations are one of the most equitable and well-used health services globally, and the recommended vaccination and primary health care intervention schedule in the first year of an infant’s life calls for multiple health care contacts. Ensuring that family planning counseling and services are linked to infant vaccination contacts through well-managed primary health care services has the potential to reach mothers with family planning information and services at a critical time—the 12 months following birth.
This brief focuses primarily on deliberate efforts to integrate the two services, rather than on services offered at the same location coincidentally without intentional efforts to connect them. Family planning and immunization integration can refer to either “combined service provision,” when both services are offered on the same day and at the same location, or “single service provision plus referral,” when either family planning or immunization services are provided along with education, screening, or referrals for the other service.
This brief also focuses on integrating the two services through routine immunization contacts rather than during immunization campaigns, which are not recommended as platforms for integrated services. Integrated service delivery may take place within both public and private sector facilities or through social franchise outlets.