The Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health and the Aspen Institute recently announced Senegal as the winner of the 2015 Resolve Award for Service Delivery, which was presented during this year’s World Health Assembly in Geneva. The award recognizes the country’s landmark progress in reducing family planning stock-outs and improving women’s access to modern contraception nationwide.
Family planning is recognized as one of the most cost-effective ways to lower maternal mortality rates –potentially averting a third of maternal deaths by reducing the overall number of pregnancies and helping women adequately space their pregnancies. Yet globally, 225 million women who want to prevent or delay pregnancy do not have access to modern contraception.
That is why in 2012, MSD for Mothers and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation established an eight-year, $50 million collaboration to expand access to family planning. As part of this commitment, in 2013 we launched our first project with the Government of Senegal and IntraHealth International to support the national scale up an innovative supply chain model to help eliminate stock-outs of contraceptives at public health facilities.
The program has now been scaled across all 14 regions of the country, with plans to transfer project ownership to the government in 2016. To date, the program results are impressive: