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Expanding Access to Injectable Contraception: Results From Pilot Introduction of Subcutaneous Depot Medroxyprogesterone Acetate (DMPA-SC) in 4 African Countries

PATH partnered with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and country ministries of health (MOHs) to coordinate pilot introductions of subcutaneous depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (subcutaneous DMPA or DMPA-SC, brand name Sayana Press) in Burkina Faso, Niger, Senegal, and Uganda from July 2014 through June 2016 in order to expand the range of methods available to women, particularly in remote locations. The pilot introductions aimed to answer key questions that would inform decisions about future investments in DMPA-SC and scaling up product availability and service-delivery innovations nationally. These questions included the extent to which DMPA-SC would appeal to first-time users of modern contraception, as well as adolescent girls and young women; whether DMPA-SC would add value to family planning programs or simply replace DMPA-IM or other modern methods; and the trends in injectables use when introducing DMPA-SC (or any injectable) at the community level for the first time. We implemented a multi-country monitoring system to track key indicators, including the number of doses administered by category of user (e.g., new users, by client age group) or delivery channel. Providers generally collected these data using their national programs’ standard family planning registers. Data were analyzed for cumulative information and to examine trends over time using Microsoft Power Query for Excel and Tableau. Across the 4 countries, nearly half a million DMPA-SC doses were administered and approximately 135,000 first-time users of modern contraception were reached. Furthermore, 44% of the doses administered in 3 of the countries with data were to adolescent girls and young women under age 25. Switching from DMPA-IM to DMPA-SC was not widespread, ranging from 7% in Burkina Faso to 16% in Uganda. Results from these pilot introductions demonstrate that DMPA-SC has the potential to expand community-level access to injectables, maximize task-sharing strategies, and reach young women and new acceptors of family planning. Considered within the context of each country’s setting, training approach, and introduction strategy, these results can help stakeholders in other countries make informed decisions about whether and how to include this contraceptive option in their family planning programs.

Institutional Author(s): PATH, UNFPA
Individual Author(s): Anna Stout, Siri Wood, George Barigye, Alain Kaboré, Daouda Siddo, Ida Ndione
Publication date: March, 2018

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