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Using Human-Centered Design to Explore Potential Users’ and Men’s Views of New Injectable Contraceptives in Kampala and Lagos

Background: Injectable contraceptives are the most used method in sub-Saharan Africa. We conducted market research to assess potential user attitudes toward 4- and 6-month injectables. We also present user suggestions for marketing these new injectables once they are available.

Methods: We implemented a 2-phase market research study from October through December 2021 in Kampala, Uganda, and Lagos, Nigeria. We conducted 11 focus group discussions (FGDs) with 51 participants in Kampala and 12 FGDs with 67 participants in Lagos. FGDs included current and potential injectable users and men stratified by marital status and age. Next, 23 women in Kampala and 24 in Lagos participated in cocreation workshops using human-centered design methods to explore marketing and communications strategies for each injectable. Data collection teams completed semistructured data extraction tables that were then analyzed thematically.

Results: Participants liked both injectable options due to the reduced number of facility visits that would save time and money and increase privacy. Primary concerns included side effects, delayed return to fertility, cost, self-efficacy to self-inject, and stock-outs. Participants in Kampala preferred a shorter reinjection window (or “grace period”) because it is easier to remember and they assumed it meant a quicker return to fertility, but participants in Lagos preferred a longer window because it provides extra time for reinjection. Citing norms around women needing to get pregnant quickly after marriage, participants in both sites felt that the 4-month injectable would benefit young people with busy lifestyles or limited access to facilities, whereas the 6-month injectable would benefit women who already had children.

Conclusions: We found that participants in Kampala and Lagos would prefer additional injectable options to meet the wide-ranging needs of users in different stages of their reproductive lives. Family planning program planners can apply the marketing insights we identified when these new injectables become available.

  • Journal article Global Health: Science and Practice