Recent Provider Training and Client Counseling Tools on Emergency Contraception

By Melissa Garcia

Melissa Garcia is the technical advisor for the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception (ICEC), which is hosted by MSH. This article originally appeared on the ICEC website

Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) are an important part of the family planning method mix and for post-rape care, being the only effective way to reduce the risk of pregnancy after sex, whether unprotected, insufficiently protected or coerced.

At the global level, women have low levels of awareness of ECPs as a contraceptive option. This could be due in part that ECPs are not consistently included in contraceptive counselling, and/or because the right tools and information are lacking to dispel myths and misinformation. As ICEC’s mission is to ensure the safe and locally-appropriate use of EC in all reproductive health programming, we have made recent investments to support the global health care workforce by improving provider training and client counselling and awareness of ECPs at global, regional and national levels. In partnership with several other organisations, materials were created to provide up-to-date guidance on EC. While the focus is on levonorgestrel (LNG) ECPs–the most commonly available type of EC globally–select resources provide detail on the expanded post-coital contraceptive method mix.

ICEC has provided technical review to several global-level provider training materials, including EC training modules on FPTraining.org for providers (in English and in French) and for pharmacists (in English and in French). The latest edition of Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers has updated guidance as well; see the EC chapter here. Continue reading “Recent Provider Training and Client Counseling Tools on Emergency Contraception”

Youth advocates share challenges with health ministers at UNGA

Anoyara Khatun speaks about working in her community to end human trafficking and child marriage. Also pictured (left to right): Patrick Mwesigye, Yemurai Nyoni, and Michalina Drejza Photo credit: J. Cook Photography
Anoyara Khatun speaks about working in her community to end human trafficking and child marriage. Also pictured (left to right): Patrick Mwesigye, Yemurai Nyoni, and Michalina Drejza (Photo by J. Cook Photography)

Youth advocates and representatives from health ministries around the world  came together September 18 to share achievements, challenges, and innovative strategies to improve the health and well-being of women, newborns, children, and adolescents. Continue reading “Youth advocates share challenges with health ministers at UNGA”

A script-writer walks into a pharmacy…

By Melissa Garcia and Elizabeth Westley

Melissa Garcia is senior technical officer and Elizabeth Westley is the director of the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception (ICEC), hosted by Management Sciences for Health.

“What happened when you went to the pharmacy and asked for emergency contraception?” Melissa surveyed a room full of television and radio writers attending a workshop in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The participants looked around, waiting for someone to speak up first.

“The pharmacist gave me a look, so I had to show him my PMC badge to prove I was there for research, not for myself!” said a woman from Population Media Center, an organization that produces educational soap operas to improve the health and well-being of people around the world. Writers in Nigeria had similar stories to tell. An older man in flowing traditional robes confessed “I walked up and down the street three times before I summoned the courage to enter the store.” A young family planning (FP) advocate joined the media training in Senegal, and wearing her hijab, reported that the pharmacist demanded to know who the pill was meant for.

Melissa visits actors and writers on the set of C'est la vie in Senegal.
Melissa visits actors and writers on the set of C’est la vie in Senegal.

Continue reading “A script-writer walks into a pharmacy…”

Misoprostol for postpartum hemorrhage: Closing the gap between knowledge and action

By Shafia Rashid and JoAnn Paradis

Shafia Rashid is Senior Technical Advisor for the FCI Program of Management Sciences for Health and JoAnn Paradis is Strategic Communications Advisor for African Strategies for Health.

In many countries around the world, women give birth at home, often with only a family member or traditional birth attendant by their side. For these women, and for those giving birth in a health facility without reliable electricity, refrigeration, and/or IV therapy, misoprostol may be the best option for preventing and treating postpartum hemorrhage (PPH), one of the leading causes of maternal death globally.

A pregnant girl at Kigali District Hospital, Kigali, Rwanda. (Photo Credit: Todd Shapera)
Photo: Todd Shapera

Despite a global consensus on misoprostol’s safety and effectiveness for PPH prevention, few countries have closed the gap between knowledge and action–taking the steps to ensure that misoprostol is available to women where they are and when they most need it. Only a handful of countries have adopted evidence-based national policies and clinical guidelines that support the use of misoprostol for PPH, and even fewer have scaled these policies into national programs. Continue reading “Misoprostol for postpartum hemorrhage: Closing the gap between knowledge and action”

Global Leaders in Maternal and Newborn Health: Dr. Emmanuel Ugwa (Nigeria)

By Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

This article originally appeared on the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) blog.

In July 2016, 35 global leaders in maternal newborn health gathered for the second annual Safe Mothers and Newborns Leadership Workshop (SMNLW) hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF), the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and The Aga Kahn University, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The participants represented 26 countries from five continents.

Emmanuel Ugwa

SMNLW participant Dr. Emmanuel Ugwa is from Nigeria where he has served as a Consultant Obstetrician/Gynecologist at several hospitals. He is a principal investigator on USAID and Gates-funded research projects in Nigeria. Additionally, Dr. Ugwa sits on review committees and editorial boards for multiple scientific journals and has published numerous research articles himself. Continue reading “Global Leaders in Maternal and Newborn Health: Dr. Emmanuel Ugwa (Nigeria)”