The private sector has an important role to play in contributing to the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)1 regarding women’s health.
- Facilitate sustained access for our family planning products and services, and engage in partnerships that address specific reproductive health and development challenges
- SDG 3 sets two targets in support of the overall health of women, families and society:
- By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births
- By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services, including those for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programs
While progress was made toward these targets under the original Millennium Development Goals whose sunset date was 2015, rates of maternal mortality and unintended pregnancy remain high in many countries, and access to modern contraceptive methods remains limited, especially among the poorest and most vulnerable women and girls. As the global community embraces the Sustainable Development Goals launched in September 2015, we will continue to support efforts to accelerate access to our products and ensure that reproductive health and rights are included in global, regional and country strategies.
Access to modern contraceptives is an important aspect of family planning.
Enabling couples to determine whether, when and how often to have children is vital to helping achieve safe motherhood, healthy families and healthy communities. Voluntary family planning and broadening the method mix of family planning options help protect the health of women by reducing high-risk pregnancies, and help protect the health of children, adolescents and mothers by allowing sufficient time between pregnancies. Research has shown that appropriately spacing pregnancies helps improve both mother and child survival rates and reduces the risk of preterm birth.2 The use of family-planning methods can also reduce the number of unsafe abortions and associated complications.3
Access to modern contraceptives is an important aspect of family planning. Our multifaceted approach supports efforts to improve access to family-planning services and contraceptives for the women most in need of them. We are actively engaged in areas where maternal mortality is high and the prevalence of contraceptive use is low.4
2. http://www.marchofdimes.com/news/jul19b_2011.html, www.guttmacher.org/pubs/AddingItUp2009.pdf.
3. Singh, S., et al., Guttmacher Institute and United Nations Population Fund; 2009.
We participate in a number of coalitions that support women’s reproductive health by increasing access to family planning, working to reduce maternal mortality, and promoting collaboration between the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.
Throughout the world, we have partnered with organizations and supported projects that work to increase women’s access to health services, reduce maternal mortality, increase awareness of reproductive/sexual health among adolescents and vulnerable populations, prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS, and promote women’s empowerment and access to economic opportunities.
PARTNERING FOR IMPLEMENTATION
Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC)
The RHSC is a global partnership of public, private and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) dedicated to helping all people in low- and middle-income countries gain access to and use affordable, high-quality supplies that ensure better reproductive health.
The coalition brings together diverse agencies and groups with critical roles in providing contraceptives and other reproductive health supplies. These include multilateral and bilateral organizations, private foundations, governments, and civil society and private-sector representatives. We participate in various RHSC working groups, including the Market Development Approaches Working Group, which contributes to the goal of reproductive health supply security, and to ForoLac, which focuses on access in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In 2017, we were asked by RHSC to join a working group in support of its new Global Family Planning Visibility and Analytics Network (Global FP VAN), which is intended to be a shared platform for capturing and using supply chain data from multiple sources and organizations to provide enhanced visibility for decision making. We will provide input into the selection of a software solution that will allow supply chain professionals to see supply data and execute supply decisions in order, ultimately, to ensure more timely and cost-effective delivery of reproductive health products to countries.
Reproductive Health Global Traceability Advisory Group
In 2017, we continued to participate in the Reproductive Health Global Traceability Advisory Group, convened by USAID and UNFPA. Through our engagement, we provided feedback on the benefits and challenges associated with the adoption of data standards, shared our capabilities, and learned about UNFPA and USAID’s initial work in this area. The major output from the group, published in October 2017, was the “Identification Recommendations for Reproductive Health Pharmaceuticals.”
Global Implant Removal Task Force
Since 2015, we have participated in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation–convened Global Implant Removal Task Force, which brings together multiple organizations to deliver clear evidence and best practices and offer tangible solutions for identified problems in implant removal services. Materials developed by the task force have been published at https://www.k4health.org/toolkits/implants/implant-removal-resources.
European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development
In Europe, in 2016, we established a partnership with the European Parliamentary Forum on Population & Development (EPF) to support the NGO’s efforts to raise awareness of inequities in access to contraception and family-planning services among European countries.
Our company provided EPF with support to create a unique new tool called the European Contraception Atlas, an online interactive map that scores 45 European countries on access to modern contraception, focusing on access to information and contraceptive supplies.
With criteria established by a multi-stakeholder group of experts in sexual and reproductive health and rights, the atlas aims to provide a dynamic and robust tool to help improve access to modern contraception.
American Health Foundation
In Latin America and the Caribbean, an estimated 60 percent of pregnancies are unplanned. During 2017, our company supported the efforts of the American Health Foundation (AHF) to convene a meeting of Latin American experts to develop a white paper on the magnitude and burden of unplanned pregnancies and the potential to reduce the burden through increased access to effective contraception. The white paper will be shared with health care providers, policy makers and the public. Learn more.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation
In June 2016, together with the CDC Foundation, we announced a collaboration to enable increased access to NEXPLANON® (etonogestrel implant) and NuvaRing® (etonogestrel/ethinyl estradiol vaginal ring) in Puerto Rico through the Zika Contraception Access Network (Z-CAN). Z-CAN was established by the CDC Foundation to address an urgent need to improve contraception access in Puerto Rico during the Zika outbreak. As part of the effort, we are also providing training and education support to health care providers.
Z-CAN concluded in June 2017 when Puerto Rico declared an end to its Zika epidemic. During the program’s run, more than 28,000 women visited Z-CAN clinics, of which 95 percent received same-day family planning services. Approximately 25 percent of all women who were offered the full range of contraceptive methods chose NEXPLANON. Prior to the establishment of the Z-CAN program, NEXPLANON was not widely available on the island. In January 2018, an article was published in The Lancet Public Health highlighting the work of Z-CAN and demonstrating what is possible during an emergency response or humanitarian crisis through partnership.
Women Deliver is a leading global advocate for the health, rights and well-being of girls and women that brings together diverse voices to drive progress, with a particular focus on maternal, sexual, and reproductive health and rights. We are proud to participate in Women Deliver–led initiatives and coalitions that seek to bring meaningful change to women around the world.
Family Planning 2020 (FP2020)
FP2020 works with governments, civil society, multilateral organizations, donors, the private sector, and the research and development community to enable 120 million more women and girls to use contraceptives by 2020. It is based on the principle that all women, no matter where they live, should have access to lifesaving contraceptives, and supports the UN Secretary-General’s global effort for women’s and children’s health. In May 2013, we committed to reduce the cost of our implants by approximately 50 percent for six years, through 2018. In November 2015, we extended this commitment to FP2020 by five years, through 2023, to offer access pricing for IMPLANON® (etonogestrel implant) and IMPLANON NXT® (etonogestrel implant)—our single-rod, long-acting, reversible contraceptive implants—to eligible countries.
In 2017, we were proud to participate in the second London Family Planning Summit and to re-confirm our commitment to the partnership’s goals.
For an update on FP2020 progress since it was created in 2012, click here.