Family Planning During and After the Ebola Crisis: Evidence From Liberia and Sierra Leone

Kristin Bietsch , Avenir Health
Jessica Williamson, Avenir Health

Liberia and Sierra Leone both experienced rising contraceptive use in the five years prior to the 2013-2016 West African Ebola outbreak. We examine monthly provision of family planning services from 6 months before the first Ebola case in each country to 24 months after the last case. Family planning distribution declined by 65% in Liberia and 23% in Sierra Leone at the peak of the epidemic. Two years after Ebola, Liberia’s average monthly family planning distribution is 39% above pre-crisis levels, while distribution in Sierra Leone increased by 27%. Major drivers in increased contraceptive use are implants in both countries, and injectables in Liberia. This study indicates that the family planning health sector can recover (and continue to improve) following a significant disruption and is a lesson in resilience. It’s important to note that this recovery was not equal or sustained in all areas.

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 Presented in Session 10. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior & Reproductive Health 2