January 2013 in Review        

In The Spotlight
Choice prevails in Afghanistan
If asked to single out one country where the prospects for contraceptive choice have just improved, Afghanistan is probably not the first to come to mind. But that is precisely what has happened. With funding from the Coalition’s Innovation Fund, Marie Stopes International Afghanistan successfully assembled parliamentarians from across the country on 16 January – men, women, representatives of Islamic radical parties -- to form the country’s first Sexual and Reproductive Health Caucus. With the support of this Caucus, and the involvement of key religious leaders, Afghanistan’s national regulatory authority approved last month the special registration of the two-rod contraceptive implant, Jadelle®. It was, to be sure, an uphill battle, facing stiff opposition from Kabul University lecturers, and even senior members of the Pharmacy Department within the Ministry of Health. But in the end, choice prevailed; Afghanistan’s women are one step closer to a wider range of contraceptive options. For more information, contact Farhad Javid.

Coalition on the scene
UN Commission partners connect via the Knowledge Gateway
More and more of the UN Commission on Life-saving Commodities for Women and Children (UNCoLSC) Technical Resource Teams (TRTs) are choosing the Knowledge Gateway (KG) to share and store information, connect with one another, and reach out to the broader RH community. Last December, the Coalition Secretariat began creating a host of new KG platforms to help TRTs overcome many of the communications challenges that we know all too well, befall active working groups with ever-growing membership lists. Today, 10 of the TRTs are using the new platforms, with a total membership exceeding 300 participants. To access a TRT or to request assistance in getting your own TRT on KG, visit our website or contact Anna Harvey.

Save the Date for Coalition Annual Meeting
The Coalition’s 14th General Membership Meeting and accompanying satellite meetings will take place in the week commencing 7 October. The venue and other details will be confirmed shortly, but mark your calendars now!
Interview with LAPTOP Scholar online
Last month, we flagged up an interview with one of the Coalition’s two LAPTOP scholars. This month, we feature the other scholarship winner, Dr. Kossivi Afanvi, from Togo, who is a physician, public health economist, and health district manager specializing in maternal and child health. His duties give him a keen insight into the supply challenges particular to his region. Read more here.
Coalition member Shanghai Dahua Pharmaceuticals achieves WHO GMP Status
Following a recent inspection by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Prequalification group, Coalition member Shanghai Dahua Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. (Dahua), the manufacturer of Sino-implant (II), was found to be in compliance with WHO Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). Some countries rely on WHO GMP in lieu of conducting their own inspections; also, attaining WHO GMP status is a significant step in the prequalification process. For more information, please contact Markus Steiner.
Coalition-supported QuRHM project launches four-country pilot study
Following a call for applications in the September/October issue of SupplyInsider, the Dutch Royal Tropical Institute has been chosen to conduct a situational analysis for RH medicines in four countries. Conducted as part of the Coalition-supported QuRHM programme which is funded by DFID and managed by the Concept Foundation, this study will seek to understand and document the dynamics of the RH medicines market and the regulatory and policy environment in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal and Senegal. WHO prequalification is not a magic bullet; it needs to be accompanied by a strong business case, requiring the harmonization and strengthening of procurement practices and policies and a commitment from donors. This pilot study aims to contribute to the shaping of a more vigorous market for quality assured RH medicines. It is expected to generate valuable blueprints to support future research. For more information contact Lester Chinery.
New resources available on re-launched emergency contraception website
Coalition partner International Consortium on Emergency Contraception (ICEC) has re-launched its website, adding new features such as a database of pills by brand, and information on EC access at the country level.  EC is one of the 13 focus commodities selected by the UN Commission for Life-saving Commodities for support and development. ICEC’s new site, which is more streamlined and user-friendly than its predecessor, is set to play a significant role in this expanding interest.
Copper IUDs now available from stock via AccessRH
This month, AccessRH added the CuT380 IUD to its in-stock inventory, thereby offering the promise of significant reductions in delivery lead times. This addition means that AccessRH can now supply four products from stock: the IUD, male condom, Microgynon, and Microlut. As with these other products, the new CuT380 will be stored by its supplier―in this case the prequalified Indian manufacturer SMB. This month also saw the addition of new products to the AccessRH catalogue, including midwifery kits and fistula repair kits, emergency contraceptive pills and combined low dose oral contraceptives. For more information on AccessRH, contact Ida Salminen.
Coalition welcomes five new members this month

This brings the total membership to 219.

  • International Partnership for Microbicides, United States, a non-profit partnership working to speed up development of, and access to, microbicides and HIV-prevention tools for women in developing countries.
  • Dalberg Global Development Advisors, United States, a mission-driven strategy consulting firm.
  • Dominican Republic - Ministry of Health.  The Dominican Republic  becomes the 20th government to join the Coalition and the third from Latin America.
  • Asociación Demográfica Costarricense, Costa Rica, founded in 1966, this IPPF Member Association works to uphold and defend sexual and reproductive rights.
  • Doctors for a Better World, Togo, an organization working towards the ICPD definition of well-being. This organization was co-founded by Coalition LAPTOP scholar Dr. Kossivi Afanvi (see article above).

Highlights from the Working Groups
February webinar: voluntary, human rights-based family planning
The Coalition's RMA Working Group is co-hosting a webinar for Southern partners to introduce and solicit feedback on a conceptual framework on Voluntary, Human Rights-based Family Planning Programs. The framework feeds into FP2020, its Rights and Empowerment Working Group, and a WHO consultation. For more information, click here.
Stockouts Indicator Technical Advisory Group holds first meeting
In January, the SSWG launched a new sub-group aimed at assisting the Coalition Secretariat manage its new Stockouts Initiative. The sub-group, led by Alan Bornbusch of USAID and SSWG leader Leslie Patykewich, will act as a technical advisory group (TAG). Its first task will be to develop the instruments needed to conduct a landscape analysis of current efforts to gauge contraceptive availability, including proposed initiatives by FP2020 and the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities. For more information, please contact Bonnie Keith.
MDAWG leader addresses social marketing meeting on Total Market Initiative
The Market Development Approaches Working Group Leader Ian Askew provided the keynote address at a regional social marketing meeting in December organized by CARISMA a social marketing programme based in the Caribbean region. He spoke on identifying opportunities to shape contraceptive and condom markets and introduced the Total Market Initiative (TMI) as a means to forge coordinated action by the public and private sectors. The meeting found the overall condom market in the Caribbean region to be growing steadily, though quality assurance and control were flagged up as areas of particular concern. For more information on proceedings, contact Chris Brady.

Upcoming events

13-16 Mar
Conference on Contraceptive Technology, San Francisco
28 - 30 MayWomen Deliver’s 3rd Global Conference, Kuala Lumpur
11 - 13 JunLACForum Annual Meeting
21-22 Oct
Emergency Contraception Jamboree, New York
23-25 Oct
EuroNGOs International Conference, Berlin 
12-15 Nov
International Conference on Family Planning, Addis Ababa


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