Background: The use of implants has steadily increased in Kinshasa since 2013 but clinic-based access to this family planning method is limited due to distance and costs barriers. The objective of this study was to examine the feasibility and acceptability of providing Implanon NXT at the community level using medical and nursing students (M/N) as distributors, as part of a strategy to improve contraceptive uptake in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Methods: A cohort of 531 women who chose to receive Implanon NXT from a M/N student during community-based campaign days participated in three rounds of a quantitative survey administered at the time of insertion of the method, and at 6 and 12 months later. We conducted descriptive analysis to assess the feasibility and acceptability of providing the method through M/N students in terms of method choice, user profiles, contraceptive history, experience with insertion and side effects, continuation / discontinuation of the method, and overall satisfaction with FP services as well as students' preparedness and capacity to safely offer the method, and their satisfaction with the experience. Results: The study demonstrated the feasibility of training students for community-based provision of Implanon NXT and 95% of them were satisfied with their experience. Acceptability of both the method and the service delivery strategy was high among participants, including among young and first-time contraceptive users. Out of the 441 women with a known outcome at 12 months, 92% still had Implanon NXT inserted, despite some of them reporting experiencing side effects. The vast majority (79%) would "strongly recommend"obtaining NXT from a M/N student if a friend wanted to avoid pregnancies. Conclusions: The provision of Implanon NXT at the community-level is a promising solution to address some of the barriers to accessing this method for women living in Kinshasa. However, strengthening pre-insertion counseling, particularly on expected side-effects and the possibility of early removal, is necessary to increase informed choice for the women and potentially limit method discontinuation.
- Community-based distribution
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Feasibility and acceptability