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Preventing Stockouts, Saving Lives

We know that family planning saves lives by reducing maternal mortality, improving child health, and advancing women’s socioeconomic status. But in Senegal, unmet need for family planning is still one of the highest in the world (29%) and is compounded by social, cultural, and religious barriers—as well as by supply issues.

We talk a lot about the need to increase demand for family planning, but the reality is quite simple: no contraceptives, no demand. IntraHealth International, in collaboration with the Senegal Ministry of Health, is expanding access to—and use of—family planning by reducing contraceptive stockouts. Together we’re implementing the informed push model (IPM), which reinvests proceeds from clients’ contraceptive purchases back into the public contraceptive supply system to ensure the constant flow and availability of products. IPM makes a wide range of family planning commodities available, allowing women to more freely choose the methods they want at affordable prices. The model also generates data on the consumption of family planning commodities, and those data can then be used to inform and improve how health services are provided.

During my last visit to Senegal, I met with doctors and midwives working in community-based clinics in Pikine, a suburb of Dakar. As I talked with the providers about how IPM has affected their work, I was struck by their enthusiasm and excitement. As women realize that the methods they want, such as injectables, are readily available, they are seeking out clinics and providers who can provide these methods. I was impressed to find that clinic staff in Pikine were willing to come early or stay late to accommodate this increased demand.

This video shows how IPM works and its impact on the lives of Senegalese women and their families. Take a look.