On this World Contraception Day, PATH’s Reproductive Health program is pleased to announce a new grant of up to $10.5 million for three years from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Children’s Investment Fund Foundation to empower women and adolescent girls with expanded contraceptive options. Known as the Subcutaneous DMPA Access Collaborative, the new coordination and technical assistance project will be led by PATH and partner John Snow, Inc. (JSI) to advance the long-term, sustainable availability of subcutaneous DMPA* (DMPA-SC, marketed as Pfizer’s Sayana® Press**) as part of a broad contraceptive method mix.
DMPA-SC is a lower-dose, easy-to-use version of a widely used injectable contraceptive that is administered every three months to prevent pregnancy. The product’s user-friendly design means that any trained person can administer it, including community health workers, pharmacists, and even women themselves through self-injection. Sayana Press, the DMPA-SC product available to Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) countries, is manufactured by Pfizer Inc. and combines the drug and needle in the PATH-developed BD Uniject™ injection system. Now being offered as one new family planning option in countries around the world, this all-in-one contraceptive can improve access to safe and effective contraception, and build women’s autonomy.
The Access Collaborative will work with ministries of health and partners across sectors in 8 to 12 countries over three years to facilitate DMPA-SC country introduction and scale-up planning, and provide technical assistance to ensure implementation of each country's total market plan. Initial countries are likely to include Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda, and Zambia, contingent on local interest. The project will also help mobilize resources by raising awareness of relevant funding gaps among donors.
In addition, the Access Collaborative will facilitate information exchange and learning within and beyond the 8 to 12 countries by sharing results and lessons learned, troubleshooting challenges, and accelerating the adoption of best practices through an interactive, virtual network.
“This new initiative has enormous potential to advance our understanding of how best to introduce new contraceptive options in the context of high-quality programming and informed choice,” says Martha Brady, PATH’s Reproductive Health program leader. “PATH is excited about this opportunity to work with JSI and a wide range of great partners to expand contraceptive options for women, including important innovations such as self-injection which puts more control in the users’ hands.”
Carolyn Hart, Vice President of JSI’s International Division remarks, “This method is so exciting, enabling much broader access and even potentially revolutionary advances in service delivery, including self-care. Women all over the world will benefit from the Subcutaneous DMPA Access Collaborative and JSI is delighted to partner with PATH in this initiative.”
JSI will leverage its 30 years of family planning and supply chain expertise in support of the Access Collaborative, including its leadership in DMPA-SC global supply chain management and experience supporting DMPA-SC launch and scale-up in-country.
For nearly 40 years, PATH has been a pioneer in translating bold ideas into breakthrough health technologies and solutions, with a focus on reproductive and maternal health, child survival, and infectious diseases. Starting in 2014, PATH coordinated the first country-led pilot introductions of DMPA-SC administered by health workers in sub-Saharan Africa. PATH then led the first self-injection research study and program launch. These activities and the Subcutaneous DMPA Access Collaborative are embedded within the Advancing Contraceptive Options portfolio of PATH’s Reproductive Health program.
*DMPA: Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate.
**Sayana Press is a registered trademark of Pfizer Inc. Uniject is a registered trademark of BD.
PATH is the leader in global health innovation. An international nonprofit organization, PATH saves lives and improves health, especially among women and children. PATH accelerates innovation across five platforms—vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, devices, and system and service innovations—that harness our entrepreneurial insight, scientific and public health expertise, and passion for health equity. By mobilizing partners around the world, PATH takes innovation to scale, working alongside countries primarily in Africa and Asia to tackle their greatest health needs. With these key partners, PATH delivers measurable results that disrupt the cycle of poor health. Learn more at www.path.org.
About John Snow, Inc.
JSI is dedicated to improving and promoting public health in the United States and across the globe. JSI works in more than 40 countries, partnering with clients to develop flexible, innovative approaches that solve complex public health problems, strengthening health systems to improve services—and ultimately, people’s health. Learn more at www.jsi.com.
Posted September 26, 2017.