Ambitious initiative to bridge Latin America to global innovations
4th August 2017
A new two-year programme is poised to change the face of contraceptive access in twelve countries in LAC. The Coalition’s Regional Forum for Latin America and the Caribbean (ForoLAC) has embarked on a pioneering initiative, designed to:
- make contraceptives more affordable
- cement relationships between procurers, program managers, and governments
- empower advocates to demand quality and cost savings
“Encuentros: Contraceptive Procurement Improvement in Latin America” will act as a vital bridge between a largely sidelined continent and world advances in contraceptive commodity security.
The recent Family Planning Summit in London is illustrative of how far reproductive health developments have come in the last decade or so. Commodity prices are lower; pooled procurement is making purchases more affordable; manufacturers show more engagement, thanks to donor backing; and there are more quality-assured products than ever before.
However, these global developments stand in sharp contrast to the realities facing Latin America where commodity prices are among the highest in the world; product choice is limited; and import tariffs are high – all of which only exacerbate the wealth disparities that make LAC the most inequitable region in the world.
The ForoLAC initiative seeks to bridge the gap between Latin America and the world, to change expectations within the region, and to help stakeholders access the benefits they are missing out on. A unique and novel feature will be special learning lessons or “encuentros”. Each encuentro will include six country delegations comprising national procurement agents, finance agents, civil society, and active Contraceptive Security Committees such as those in Guatemala and Paraguay. The encuentros will provide a safe space for country delegations to discuss procurement issues, and direct access to state-of-the-art contraceptive procurement practices, international pricing policies, and purchasing modalities. They will learn how to tap into volume guarantees and other cost saving opportunities. Participants will also learn about the WHO Prequalification Program and its successful candidates.
The initiative’s impact will be longstanding and wide-ranging, as countries across the region are expected to benefit from the new costing methodology and advocacy guidance.
“This is the culmination of the RHSC’s longstanding dedication to increasing contraceptive access in the LAC region,” said ForoLAC Regional Advisor Milka Dinev. “With the help of valuable partners such as UNFPA, we are looking to effect permanent and extensive change by building organic relationships and making radical changes to the way people think. The positive developments can only grow and grow through the entire region.”
For more information please contact the: Milka Dinev at firstname.lastname@example.org.