August- October 2013 in Review
In the spotlight: 14th General Membership Meeting a resounding success
Two hundred participants from 33 countries gathered this month in Delhi for the Coalition’s 14th General Membership Meeting. Co-hosted by the Indian Ministry for Health and Family Welfare and opened by its Additional Secretary, Ms. Anuradha Gupta, the meeting was also an occasion to thank the Coalition’s outgoing Chair, Julia Bunting, OBE, for her four-and-a-half years of service, and to welcome incumbent Chair, Dr. Marleen Temmerman.
The meeting witnessed several firsts including combined Working Group meetings, as well as a joint session of the Coalition’s two regional forums –- SECONAF and ForoLAC. Another first was the meeting of the Coalition’s newest implementing mechanism, the Generic Manufacturers for Reproductive Health Caucus (GEMS).
The Indian sub-continent’s reproductive health context provided the backdrop to many meeting presentations, and participants had the opportunity to visit SRH programmes run by the Family Planning Association of India. Meeting presentations, photographs and a short film can all be found online.
Executive Committee welcomes new members
At its semi-annual meeting in Delhi, the Executive Committee welcomed three members occupying new seats: two representing governmental and/or intergovernmental organizations from the world’s poorest countries, and one occupant of a new seat designated for an individual with in-depth knowledge of commerce and the pharmaceutical industry.
Dr. Gloria Asare, Deputy Director, Ghana Health Service, Ghana and Dr. Jotham Musinguzi, Regional Director, Partners in Population and Development Africa Regional Office, Uganda came on board as representatives of the Global South, while the Coalition welcomed Frank Roijmans, independent consultant and former Program Director of Family Planning, Merck/MSD, to fill the commerce and pharmaceutical sector seat.
New faces also included Ellen Starbird, USAID's Director of the Office of Population and Reproductive Health, taking the place of Scott Radloff. In addition, Francois Sow, Head of the Human Development Unit of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, has now taken over Executive Committee responsibilities from Gustavo Gonzalez-Canali. Special thanks are due to Mr. Gonzalez-Canali for the valuable support he has provided to the Coalition, especially with reference to the French government's hosting of the Coalition's 13th General Membership Meeting in Paris last year.
The Executive Committee’s current members are listed here.
Strategic Plan: Overwhelming support from membership
Participants at the Delhi meeting reaffirmed the Executive Committee’s endorsement of the new strategic framework currently under development by the Coalition. In plenary, Director John Skibiak described the development process (click here
) by showing how the new framework unites two critical elements: key “levers of change” that make the Coalition unique and have delivered success in the past, and a vision built on four strategic pillars: availability, quality, equity, and choice. During the membership meeting, participants subdivided into nine groups, each charged with identifying what their organizations could do to further the new strategic goals at country-, regional-, and global-levels. The input from these deliberations will help shape the contents of the strategic plan, which is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.
Coalition on the scene
AccessRH serves 100th client, announces new offerings
This month, AccessRH, UNFPA’s procurement and information service for reproductive health supplies, serviced its 100th client and by so doing, expanded its coverage to more than 70 countries. As UNFPA’s procurement and information service for RH supplies, AccessRH recently added female condoms, fistula kits, and RH kits to an inventory that already included standard male condoms, female condoms, IUDs, Microgynon, and Microlut. This approach helps countries prevent stockouts of critical RH supplies by mitigating lengthy production lead times. These key contraceptives are held in stock on UNFPA's behalf by manufacturers. For information on other services offered by AccessRH, read this news story.
Happy retirement, David Smith
Former leader of the Coalition’s Systems Strengthening Working Group (SSWG), and International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) representative on the Coalition’s Executive Committee, David Smith has retired as General Manager of ICON, the IPPF subsidiary responsible for commodity supply to IPPF Member Associations. David’s no-nonsense advice and years of experience will be very much missed. We wish to take this opportunity to thank him for being a Coalition stalwart all these years, and wish him a happy and interesting retirement.
Generic manufacturers move upstream through quality of medicines process
The Coalition, through its QuRHM Programme
and its GEMS Caucus
, is getting results and increasing the availability of affordable, quality-assured RH medicines. In October, WHO Prequalification of Medicines Programme (WHO-PQP) prequalified a record number of four generic products in a single day. In 2013, nine generic products, COCs, progestogen-only pills, and emergency contraceptive pills from Famy Care, Cipla and Lupin were prequalified, as well as two active pharmaceutical ingredients, ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel from Qinhuangdao Zizhu Pharmaceutical (QZP). In addition, in the past 18 months, 16 RH products, some of which are now prequalified, were categorized as suitable for procurement for an 18-month period by the UNFPA/WHO Expert Review Panel. These included misoprostol as well as the product types listed above. Also Helm AG Hamburg saw its three-month injectable contraceptive Petogen obtain an ERP categorization that would allow UNFPA and other procurers to purchase the product under certain conditions.
Inventory of tools for maternal health supplies now available on SID
USAID’s Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services Program, led by Management Sciences for Health, has announced the publication of a new Inventory of Tools for Maternal Health Supplies, comprising 46 information sheets on tools and resources used in the provision of maternal health supplies. Produced in collaboration with the Maternal Health Technical Reference Team of the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, this valuable collection is now just a click away on the Coalition’s Supplies Information Database
(SID), under the data collection: UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities: MH Tools Inventory.
Lucian Alexe joins Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition as Communications Associate
Lucian Alexe joins the Coalition’s Brussels office this week as its new Communications Associate. Lucian brings with him skills in graphic design, photography, and film-making. He has a BA in photography, video and digital imaging from the University of Fine Arts in Bucharest, and an MA in multi-media and audio-visual production from The School of Journalism and Mass Communications Studies, also in Bucharest. Lucian is a native Romanian speaker, and has fluent English and basic Spanish. His most recent position was as visual and communication assistant at UNITEE, a Brussels-based organization representing entrepreneurs and professionals with a migrant background. Lucian brings on board valuable and exciting skills, in good time for the the next phase of the Coalition's communications work. Lucian can be contacted at email@example.com or +32 (0)2 210 0226.
Coalition membership reaches 257 with 10 new members
August and September saw the arrival of 10 new members, including two UNFPA-prequalified IUD manufacturers and two national governments.
- Corporate Channels India Pte. Ltd. (India), Commerce and Industry
- Cipla Ltd (India), Commerce and Industry
- Asociación Panameña para el Planeamiento de la Familia (Panama), Civil Society
- Association Sénégalaise pour le Bien-Etre Familial (Senegal), Civil Society
- HLL Lifecare Ltd (India), Commerce and Industry
- Meridian Group International, Inc (United States), Commerce and Industry
- BioBridge Strategies, LLC (United States), Commerce and Industry
- Ministry of Health, Central Medical Stores (Sierra Leone), Governmental Organization
- Commat Health Initiatives (Uganda), Civil Society
- Ministry of Health (The Democratic Republic of the Congo), Governmental Organization
Highlights from the Implementing Mechanisms
Sarah Shaw receives warm welcome as new leader of A&A WG
Listservs are buzzing at the announcement that Sarah Shaw has taken on the mantle of new co-leader of the Coalition’s Advocacy and Accountability Working Group (A&A WG), filling the seat recently vacated by Leo Bryant of Maries Stopes International. Sarah is ICPD Project Manager at the London-based IPPF, has a long track record in the field, and is known by colleagues as a fierce advocate for reproductive health. She will co-chair the group with Dr. Moses Muwonge, who now assumes the seat of A&A WG representative on the Executive Committee. Speaking on behalf of the A&A WG, the Secretariat’s Lou Compernolle praised Leo’s dedication and drive, noting that the last “two productive years were in no small part thanks to his leadership.” The Coalition Director also paid a tribute to Leo, thanking him for his valuable contributions to the work of the Executive Committee.
Getting Products to People: A new LAC Alliance for Health Logistics
In June, the Coalition joined a handful of committed development organizations in launching the “Getting Health Products to People: Alliance for Health Logistics”, an alliance that seeks to improve health product availability throughout the LAC region. Partners will leverage their collective resources and share knowledge about interventions aimed at strengthening public health supply chains. More information is available here
LAC Forum hosts webinar on the region’s “graduation criteria”
This month, the LACForum assisted USAID’s Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean by hosting a widely attended webinar on the process by which USAID graduates family planning (FP) programmes. The presentation is online here
. LACForum members are strongly encouraged to participate in future webinars and can get more information from Regional Facilitator Milka Dinev at mdinev(at)rhsupplies.org
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