Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
VELASCO, Carmen et al. The quality of contraception services in El Alto, Bolivia. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1999, vol.5, n.6, pp. 411-418. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49891999000500005.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the quality of contraception services in the city of El Alto, Bolivia. In the study design, four components were considered: 1) interpersonal relations between service providers and users, 2) the availability of various contraceptive methods, 3) conditions in the service centers, and 4) user satisfaction. The opinions of three groups were taken into account: service providers, service users, and nonusers. The service centers were classified as either governmental or nongovernmental, depending on the management of the institution to which the service center belonged. The study data came from a situation analysis of the services and from comments gathered from study participants in 1995. The study found that providers held a more favorable view than did service users of the interpersonal relations and personal treatment that physicians provided. Nonusers had an unfavorable perception of physicians treatment of users. Users perceptions of receiving egalitarian treatment correlated with their style of dress. With regard to the availability of contraceptive methods, 15 of the 36 centers surveyed did not have modern methods, despite there being a national policy to provide them to the public. The supply of contraception services for couples and for adolescents is limited, especially in the governmental institutions. The analysis of the conditions in the service centers demonstrated that some institutions had serious difficulties providing services of at least a minimum quality. Finally, the study describes how most of the service limitations in El Alto can be corrected through moderate-cost strategies.