More and more women in Africa are using long-acting contraceptives, changing their lives

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Countries with limited budgets usually choose to pay for health services considered more essential, such as vaccines, rather than reproductive health, said Dr. Ayman Abdelmohsen, head of the family planning branch of UNFPA’s technical division, because they produce more immediate results. return.

But a recent UNFPA initiative to get low-income countries to shoulder a greater share of the costs has led 44 governments to sign up to a new financing model that commits them to increasing their contributions to reproductive health each year.

Despite this, there was a significant global shortfall of approximately $95 million in product purchases last year. Donors currently pay for most products, but their funding for 2022 was nearly 15% lower than in 2019, as the climate crisis, war in Ukraine and other new priorities squeezed global health budgets. Program support from African governments has also remained stagnant as countries have struggled with rising food and energy prices.

The good news is that prices of new contraceptives have fallen dramatically over the past 15 years, in part thanks to promises of large bulk orders brokered by the Gates Foundation, which is betting big on the idea that long-acting methods can attract many women in sub-Saharan Africa. Hormone implants made by Bayer and Merck, for example, fell to $8.62 in 2022, from $18 each in 2010, and sales rose to 10.8 million units from 1.7 million in the same period.

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