News & Views

From Our Partners

The Manufacturer’s Perspective: Stronger Supply Chains and Forecasting for Improved Access and Reproductive Choice

This post is part of a monthly blog series profiling viewpoints from leaders in reproductive health who are members of the Bellagio Group on Long-Acting Reversible Contraception. The Bellagio Group is a coalition of experts who convene annually to discuss practices for expanding contraceptive choice and accelerating progress toward the Millennium Development Goal of universal access to reproductive health services. This post represents the views of the authors, and is not a representation of the Population Council or the Bellagio Group. Please direct any questions to the author at maggie.kohn@merck.com

Affordability is often considered one of the biggest barriers to accessing medicines and medical technologies, including contraceptives. But ensuring that a full range of medicines and technologies are universally accessible takes more than just an affordable price; it requires an interconnected web of partners within and outside a national health system who share a commitment to reaching men and women with the supplies they need, when and where they need them.

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From Our Partners

Contraception: Why Access, Choice, and Price Matter

This post is part of a monthly blog series profiling viewpoints from leaders in reproductive health who are members of the Bellagio Group on Long-Acting Reversible Contraception. The Bellagio Group is a coalition of experts who convene annually to discuss practices for expanding contraceptive choice and accelerating progress toward the Millennium Development Goal of universal access to reproductive health services. This post represents the views of the authors, and is not a representation of the Population Council or the Bellagio Group. Please direct any questions to the author at vhale@medicines360.org.  

When we talk about challenges in the realm of family planning, we may often speak of countries with high fertility rates or places where women must have their husband’s permission to use contraception. It is easy to forget that it was only in 1965 that the US Supreme Court legalized the oral contraceptive pill for married women and 1972 that the Court legalized oral contraceptives for unmarried women.

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From Our Partners

A Balanced Response to Basic Human Rights Needs in Crisis Settings

This post is part of a monthly blog series profiling viewpoints from leaders in reproductive health who are members of the Bellagio Group on Long-Acting Reversible Contraception. The Bellagio Group is a coalition of experts who convene annually to discuss practices for expanding contraceptive choice and accelerating progress toward the Millennium Development Goal of universal access to reproductive health services. This post represents the views of the authors, and is not a representation of the Population Council or the Bellagio Group. Please direct any questions to the author at bright@unfpa.org.

The screams emanating from the delivery room did not beckon me to enter, but such was my introduction to reproductive health in refugee settings. Like 51 million people around the world, the Palestinian woman in labor was forcibly displaced. As in any population, about half of refugees are women and girls, and pregnant women account for 20% of women of reproductive age. As can be imagined, some of the women do not wish to be, or become, pregnant, so the provision of a range of short- and long-acting, reversible contraceptives as part of reproductive health education and care is essential. 

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From Our Partners

Rights-Based Family Planning: Importance of Increased Access

This post is part of a monthly blog series profiling viewpoints from leaders in reproductive health who are members of the Bellagio Group on Long-Acting Reversible Contraception. The Bellagio Group is a coalition of experts who convene annually to discuss practices for expanding contraceptive choice and accelerating progress toward the Millennium Development Goal of universal access to reproductive health services. This post represents the views of the author and is not a representation of the Population Council or the Bellagio Group. Please direct any questions to the author at cfitzgerald@womancareglobal.org.

Two weeks ago, I observed a focus group in Lusaka, Zambia, where a moderator from a South African marketing agency spoke with eight young women about their views on contraception. Joined by a local researcher, a program manager, and marketers, I watched the session next door through a live television feed. Our goal was to get a head start on the development of marketing strategies for new contraceptive products—a project funded by USAID. In that small room in the Lusaka office building, we huddled around the television listening to these women’s opinions about different contraceptive options, hoping to understand how they make decisions about which methods to use and how the public health community can better meet their needs.

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From Our Partners

UNFPA, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Boost Family Planning in Developing Countries

UNFPA and the Gates Foundation announced a partnership to help expand access to long-acting, reversible contraceptives such as injectables and implants. The organizations will use mobile and information technologies and social media to expand method choice and availability and address social, cultural, and gender barriers to family planning information, contraceptives, and services, particularly for young people. Read the release on the FP2020 website.

From Our Partners

When Words Aren’t Enough: Who’s Holding Governments Accountable on Rights?

Population Action International’s (PAI) advocacy associate, Kim Ocheltree, blogged about a panel event organized by the Population Council on human rights-based approaches to family planning. The panel was moderated by Council vice president John Townsend. Speakers included the Council’s Karen Hardee, as well as Pamela Barnes (President and CEO, EngenderHealth), Suzanne Ehlers (President and CEO, PAI), and Françoise Girard (President, International Women’s Health Coalition). A conceptual framework encouraging voluntary family planning programs to respect, protect, and fulfill human rights (developed by The Futures Group and EngenderHealth, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) was published in the Population Council journal, Studies in Family Planning, and can be accessed here.