First-Mile Family Planning Can Help More Women Avoid Unintended Pregnancies

November 10, 2017 In the global health community, we often talk about reaching the “last mile”—generally those who live in the hardest-to-reach places of the world, farthest from the health services they need. But from the point of view of those families, the last mile is in fact the first mile. The global information and communications technology community seems to understand this more than we do in health. Studies such as this look directly at first-mile issues—that is, “how connectivity looks, feels, and behaves from the subscriber’s perspective.” And researchers have done some work to shed light on how a true first-mile approach during an infectious disease outbreak like Ebola must take into account not only local resources, but also the importance of local know-how and cultural understanding. So why, in family planning and many other essential services, do we usually refer to the last mile rather than the first?

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First-Mile Family Planning Can Help More Women Avoid Unintended Pregnancies