Kenyan women will benefit from another reduction in the cost of the widely used injectable contraceptive, Sayana Press.
It will now cost Sh85 per dose ($0.85), a reduction from the previous price of Sh100 ($1) per dose.
The announcement was made by the manufacturers, Pfizer Inc., the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation in a telebriefing with journalists.
“Our hope is that more women in the developing world will now have access to Sayana Press, as an option, to meet their specific family planning needs,” said John Young, the president of Pfizer essential health department.
The contraception is now widely used in many African countries, especially because it can be provided in remote, non-clinical settings.
The manufacturer said by the end of 2016, 6.4 million units were shipped to 20 developing countries, including Kenya, potentially reaching more than 1.5 million women – up from 350,000 women at the end of 2014.
“BD is honored to join Pfizer, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and CIFF in empowering women to manage such an important aspect of their lives,” said Renuka Gadde, vice president of global health for BD.
The latest data in Kenya shows more Kenyan women are now using family planning methods.
The share of married women practising all forms of birth control rose to 66 per cent by end of 2015, from 58.3 per cent in 2014.
The figures show that 63.1 per cent of all women on contraceptives are using modern methods.
The figures were released mid 2016 by the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020), a low-cost mobile technology that is used to gather and quickly disseminate family planning data.
The data means the country has surpassed its own target of achieving a 56 per cent contraceptive prevalence rate by 2015.
“We know that when women have a range of contraceptive options to time and space their pregnancies, they’re more likely to find one that suits their needs,” said Dr Chris Elias, President of Global Development Programs at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“New innovations in contraceptive technology are needed to expand the number of methods available to women and adolescents so they can take charge of their health and their futures.”
The unmet need for family planning in Kenya fell from at least 18 per cent to 16 per cent of women between 15-49 years.
Common reasons for the unmet need include difficulty travelling to health facilities, social barriers, and lack of knowledge around what contraceptive methods are available.
Pfizer said because of its contraceptive delivery technology – enabling the product to be compact and discreet – Sayana Press can be provided in low-resource, non-clinic settings, potentially transforming the way in which women can access and receive their preferred method of contraception.