emergency contraception

In April 2016, the Population Council, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception, convened a regional meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, geared toward supporting countries in East and Southern Africa in meeting their obligations under the Maputo Protocol. Government and civil society representatives from six countries participated: Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, and Zambia. The meeting was the first activity in a joint project of technical assistance by the conveners, aimed at strengthening access to comprehensive post-rape care for survivors of sexual violence. The regional technical meeting concluded with a discussion of practical steps that participants could take to facilitate legal, policy, and program reform with respect to pregnancy prevention and safe abortion in their respective countries.

Despite the commitment of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to expand the family planning method mix and increase access to services, awareness of emergency contraception is low among women, and the method remains underused and poorly integrated in family planning programming. Data from 15 focus group discussions conducted in 2016 among women aged 15–35 were used to examine awareness and perceptions of, and attitudes toward, emergency contraceptives. Emergency contraceptive pills have the potential to address gaps in the family planning method mix in the DRC. Assessing whether women have incomplete or erroneous information about family planning methods can provide better understanding of women's contraceptive choices in low-income countries.

Since the 1990s, the Inter-agency field manual on reproductive health in humanitarian settings (IAFM) has provided authoritative guidance on reproductive health service provision during different phases of complex humanitarian emergencies. In 2018, the Inter-Agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises will release a new edition of this global resource. In this article, we describe the collaborative and inter-sectoral revision process and highlight major changes in the 2018 IAFM. We conclude with an outline of plans for releasing the 2018 IAFM and facilitating uptake by those working in refugee, crisis, conflict, and emergency settings.

To better meet women's emergency contraceptive needs and to contribute to the limited knowledge base regarding this method in Africa, this study examines data from a sample of EC users drawn from a large, representative household survey that included sexually experienced women in urban Kenya and Nigeria. Bivariate and multivariate analyses reveal greater knowledge of EC among these urban women than was reported in other nationally representative surveys. Recent users of EC were more likely to be in their 20s, unmarried, and more highly educated than never users or ever users of EC in both countries. Results contradict public perceptions of EC users as young adolescents and indicate the importance of strengthening EC provision in Africa, including targeting information and services to unmarried women and supporting private pharmacies in delivering quality services.

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