1.5 million women reached by Sayana Press contraceptive in developing countries

A hand holds up a Sayana Press device and a packaged one as well. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Nairobi, KENYA A total of 1.5 million women have been able to access all-in-one contraceptive Sayana Press contraceptive  injectables   in developing countries.

The announcement was made on Monday during a telephonic media briefing hosted by Pfizer, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) in Nairobi.

The said stakeholders stated that this was an essential move in a bid to increase accessing discreet, long-acting, all-in-one contraceptive for Kenyan women especially those who must travel long distances to health clinics or live in areas where clinicians are scarce.

“Our hope is that more women in the developing world will now have access to contraceptives, as an option, to meet their specific family planning needs,” John Young, President, Pfizer Essential Health remarked during the briefing.

Melinda Gates, co-founder Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation expressed that proper access to family planning needs would help in closing the gap in the need for family planning and unlock the cycle of poverty amongst girls.

“An estimated 225 million women in developing countries would like to delay or prevent pregnancy but are not using any method of contraception. Common reasons for this include difficulty travelling to health facilities, social barriers, and lack of knowledge around what contraceptive methods are available,” she continued.

Alvaro Bermejo, Executive Director at the CIFF noted that contraceptives are highly cost-effective health investments which save lives.

“If every girl and woman who wanted to use modern contraception was able to, we could prevent 170,000 maternal deaths and around 1.6 million newborn deaths each year. The sub-cutaneous injectable contraceptive is an important innovation, which can reach new and younger users who often face high barriers to accessing comprehensive choices,” Mr. Bermejo continued.

During the briefing, it was announced that Sayana Press will now be available to qualified purchasers at a guaranteed price of Sh 87 per dose, a reduction from the previous price of sh. 103 per dose.

Mr. Young said that by improving access to contraceptive options by reducing its cost then women will be empowered and better plan their families.

According to the 2016 FP2020 progress report, for the first time, more than 300 million women are using modern contraceptives across the 69 countries where progress is measured.

As a result, an estimated 82 million unintended pregnancies were prevented and 124,000 maternal deaths were averted between July 2015 and July 2016.