December 2011 in Review
In the spotlight
Bayer HealthCare offers RH community new cost savings
Following discussions with key partners from across the Coalition, Bayer HealthCare—itself a member of the Coalition since 2007—announced that it would broaden its commitment to the HANDtoHAND Campaign by reducing by nearly 10 percent the price of its five-year contraceptive implant, Jadelle®. Just these cost savings alone, over the next four years, would meet the contraceptive needs of half a million women who opt for Jadelle® as their method of choice—and in so doing, avert more than 550,000 unwanted pregnancies, 255,000 abortions, 1,000 maternal deaths, and 6,000 newborn deaths.
We congratulate Bayer HealthCare for having taken this important step to increase access to long-term, reversible contraception. And we commend its decision to apply the new prices to two existing orders from UNFPA and USAID—a move that yielded cost savings of nearly US$150,000 in just the last two weeks of 2011. Bayer’s collaboration and commitment represent important building blocks in our efforts to reach 100 million additional users of modern contraception by 2015.
Coalition on the scene
Dr. Gill Greer honoredFormer IPPF Director-General Dr. Gill Greer was recently made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in recognition of her exceptional work on behalf of the sexual and reproductive health rights of women and young people. Dr. Greer’s arrival at IPPF coincided with the establishment of the Coalition Secretariat in 2006, and throughout her tenure she remained an ardent support of the Coalition’s work. Please join us in congratulating Gill on this well-deserved honor.
WHO prequalifies second generic contraceptiveIn December, WHO added a second generic combined oral contraceptive to its list of prequalified medicines. The formulation—an Ethinylestradiol (30 µg) and Levonorgestrel (130 µg) combined tablet—is manufactured by Cipla Ltd. of Goa, India. The announcement marked the third hormonal this year to be added to the list, which now comprises 11 prequalified RH products. Please click here to see the complete list of WHO prequalified supplies.
New Communications Officer position open within SecretariatThe Coalition is seeking to fill the post of Communications Officer in its Brussels-based Secretariat. Since the establishment of the Secretariat in 2006 the Coalition’s communication needs have grown exponentially. In addition to maintaining a large website and publishing a monthly newsletter, the Coalition is constantly exploring avenues to disseminate its work. From social media such as Twitter and Facebook to traditional broad-based advocacy via press releases and public speaking, the opportunities to engage global stakeholders are varied and complex. The Secretariat, therefore, is seeking a candidate with broad experience in communications, solid English writing skills, and a demonstrated familiarity with all the components of effective advocacy communications. Please share the job posting with interested colleagues.
Highlights from the Working Groups
Systems Strengthening Working Group (SSWG)
SSWG Leader Election: After many years of dedicated leadership, SSWG Leader David Smith will be stepping down from this role in 2012. The SSWG will miss David’s pragmatic and experienced leadership, but he has promised continued participation in the Working Group as a member, so we will still be able to draw on his extensive knowledge. To find a new Leader, the SSWG has formed a nomination committee consisting of Aron Betru (UN Foundation), Campbell Bright (UNFPA), and Bonnie Keith (Coalition Secretariat). Nominations are being accepted through 13 January, after which an online election will be held. The nomination committee hopes to announce the new Leader by the end of January 2012. Please contact Bonnie if you are interested in becoming SSWG Leader or have any questions.
Coordinated Assistance for Reproductive Health Supplies (CARhs): To ensure effective supply-chain management, this month saw the CARhs respond to five requests from three countries. In Liberia, potential overstock situations were avoided by postponing or reducing the shipment quantities of combined orals, male condoms, and IUDs. And in Mozambique, USAID and UNFPA coordinated their shipments of IUDs to avoid an overstock situation.
Meanwhile, members of the CARhs reiterated their thanks to DFID, which has committed £10 million to address commodity shortfalls not otherwise amenable to existing financing mechanisms and/or to avert emergency financing gaps before they occur. During the CARhs monthly call, a representative from DFID joined in discussions on how to make the most of the new funding opportunity. For more information on the CARhs, contact Joe Abraham at UNFPA.
For more details on the above and other events, see the events calendar on the Coalition website.