Private Sector Intervention to Improve Access to Reversible Contraceptives
The Private Sector Intervention to Improve Access to Reversible Contraceptives program is a unique initiative supported by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and distinguished by its collaborative efforts and focus on training private-sector pharmacists and drug store personnel. EngenderHealth works in collaboration with a local partner, Parivar Seva Sanstha (PSS), to make modern reversible contraceptives widely accessible to communities in project-focused geographies. The program works across multiple states in India, including Rajasthan, Haryana, and Karnataka.
According to FP2030, 16.6% of currently married women and 12% of all women have an unmet need for family planning in India. In 2022, there were an estimated 8,640,000 unintended pregnancies in India. Private Sector Counts found that 9.5% of women rely on the private sector for modern reversible contraception.
Through a dual strategy of sensitization and training, the program will enable a network of pharmacists and drug store personnel across the targeted districts to offer modern reversible contraceptive information, services, and referrals. A blend of physical and online training sessions will focus on condoms, oral contraceptive pills, emergency contraceptives, and information provision for injectables and other clinic-based methods. The program will also train pharmacists to refer women to clinics for high-quality clinical contraceptive services when necessary. Simultaneously, comprehensive behavior change communication will create demand for these vital contraceptives within the program areas. In addition to working with pharmacists, the project also advocates with the Pharmacy Council of India to introduce a curriculum on modern contraceptives in pharmacy education.
Throughout the Private Sector Intervention to Improve Access to Reversible Contraceptives program, the outcomes are expected to include improved knowledge levels among pharmacists and drug store personnel regarding modern reversible contraceptives, increased contraceptive uptake at local pharmacies, and heightened community demand. Ultimately, the program envisions communities where modern reversible contraceptives are widely accessible, and individuals can make free, informed decisions about sexuality and childbearing so they can live the lives they want.