By Mariana Mercado
A new form of contraceptive injection will be available for women in developing countries.
The ready to use contraceptive injection will help women living in 69 of the poorest countries.
The news of the development of this new affordable contraception was released by the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.
Dr. Chris Elias, President of Global Development Programs at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said: “When women are able to plan their families, they are more likely to survive pregnancy and child birth, to have healthier newborns and children, and to invest more in their families’ health and wellbeing.
“We are proud to be part of this innovative public-private collaboration that will help more women around the world — even in remote areas — plan their lives and their futures.”
The Sayana injection combines a long-acting, reversible contraceptive with an all-in-one prefilled single use, non-reusable injection system that eliminates the need to prepare a needle and syringe. The injection can easily be administered by health workers to women at home or in other convenient setting.
The drug will be sold for $1 (0.65p) per dose to qualified purchasers who can help enable the poorest women in these countries to have access to the contraceptive at reduced or no cost.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 222m women in developing countries would like to delay or stop conception, but are not currently using any form of contraception.
Michael Anderson, Chief Executive Officer at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation said: “Far too many women die or are harmed because of unwanted pregnancies,”
“This important partnership expands the choice of affordable contraceptives. We believe this will further support CIFF’s mission of enabling more women and children to survive and thrive.”
The contraceptive program saw over 75000 Sayana Press units distributed to health facilities in the introduction countries, and aproximately 2500 health care providers have been trained on the administration of the contraceptive.
Since the introduction of the program in Burkina Faso in July, a study revealed that over 5700 women are using the injection, 1659 of these women are new users of family planning.
Justine Greening, International Development Secretary for the Department for International Development (DFID) said:“Access to modern, safe and reliable family planning methods is vital in helping women to control their lives and their futures. Without the ability to choose when they have children and how many they have, too often women lose the opportunity to participate fully in their economies and societies.”
Dr. Ariel Pablos-Mendez, Assistant Administrator for Global Health at the U.S. agency for International Development (USAI) said: “USAID has invested in Sayana Press for many years, and we are thrilled that these efforts have finally come to fruition. This public-private collaboration will now help more women access injectable contraceptives. Expanding contraceptive choice is crucial to helping women plan and space their pregnancies, which we believe contributes to the health and economic wellbeing of families and communities across the globe.”
The drug is expected to be regularly available in all 69 of the developing countries by 2020.