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PATH staff and partners from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Population Fund are conducting a series of workshops to address WHO Prequalification Programme requirements for supplying essential reproductive health medicines. With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the initiative hopes to expedite progress toward contraceptive and reproductive health supply security in low- and middle-income countries by expanding the participation of manufacturers in the program.

The regional workshops focus on two priority areas: prequalification within public-sector procurement and prequalification of condom manufacturers. The supply workshops conducted in December 2007 and January 2008 addressed the benefits of prequalification and how to effectively recommend or access the program. The condom manufacturer workshops will introduce and solicit input on the new prequalification program for male condoms with the aim of increasing participation of manufacturers in the program. The workshop series extends through February 2008 and is being held in Nicaragua, Senegal, China, Thailand, and India.

For more information about these workshops, please contact Janet Vail, PATH senior program officer, at jvail@path.org.

Posted February 12, 2008.