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Senegal Fact Sheet

MSD is known as Merck & Co., Inc, Kenilworth, NJ USA in the United States and Canada.

MSD for Mothers is our 10-year, $500 million initiative that applies MSD's scientific and business expertise – as well as its financial resources and experience in taking on tough global healthcare challenges – to reduce preventable maternal mortality worldwide. To achieve this, MSD for Mothers is providing transformational and sustainable solutions focused on improving the quality of maternal healthcare women receive at a health facility and increasing women's access to family planning.

Maternal Mortality in Senegal
Senegal has made significant progress in reducing maternal mortality in recent decades, with a decrease from 540 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 315 in 2015.i While Senegal's maternal mortality ratio has declined substantially since 1990, the likelihood that a woman will die in pregnancy or childbirth is still one in 61.

One of the factors contributing to the country's high maternal mortality ratio is women's lack of access to a reliable supply of contraceptives. Family planning is recognized as one of the most cost-effective ways to address maternal mortality-potentially averting a third of maternal deaths by reducing the overall number of pregnancies and helping women adequately space their pregnanciesi. In 2011, nearly 80 percent of government health facilities in Senegal experienced stock-outs of contraceptive supplies ii and only 30 percent of women seeking contraceptives were able to obtain them.iii

Programs and Partners
At the London Summit on Family Planning in 2012, MSD for Mothers and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced an eight-year, $50 million collaboration to expand access to family planning. As part of this commitment, MSD for Mothers and the Gates Foundation have launched its first project in partnership with IntraHealth International and the Senegalese Ministry of Health and Social Action to meet the need for family planning across the country. This three-year, $9 million partnership is supporting the national expansion of an innovative supply chain model designed to help improve the availability of contraceptives at health facilities while also integrating lifesaving products such as magnesium sulfate to treat pregnancy-induced high blood pressure and injectable antibiotics to treat newborn infection.

To help assess the financial sustainability of the distribution model, MSD for Mothers is applying its technical expertise to analyze cost-effectiveness. We are also working with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to conduct an evaluation of the program to measure its impact on stock-outs and contraceptive use, and contribute generalizable evidence on effective supply chains to the global health community.

The model is strengthening the supply chain by linking private suppliers-skilled in forecasting, ordering, and delivery of supplies-with health facilities to help maintain adequate stocks of a range of contraceptive options. The model incentivizes private suppliers to maintain a sufficient inventory of contraceptives and help ensure they are consistently available at health facilities. Increasing access to a broad range of contraceptive options allows women to choose and continue to use the method that best suits their needs.

The model has three key features:

Integrates & Incentivizes Private Sector Suppliers
  • Private sector suppliers who specialize in logistics management are incentivized based on their performance to forecast and order contraceptives, distribute them in a timely manner, and collect data on actual consumption. This shift in responsibility allows healthcare workers such as doctors and nurses to focus on essential medical tasks. In addition, the model's financing structure helps facilities manage expenses more effectively because they only pay for the contraceptives used.
Expands Method Mix
  • Consistent availability of a range of contraceptive choices helps ensure that women can choose and continue to use the method that best meets their needs. Through the program the model, women have access to a growing range of contraceptives, including injectables, IUDs, birth control pills and female condoms.
Improves Logistics Data
  • Private sector suppliers record data on deliveries and payments using a new, electronic information system for managing logistics. This information, which was not collected prior to the program, helps health facilities maintain adequate stocks of a range of contraceptives and calculate incentives for suppliers.

Implementing Partners

i WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank. "Trends in Maternal Mortality 1990-2013 (Geneva, 2015). Available at:
ii UNICEF, “Enquête Démographique et de Santé Continue au Sénégal,” (2013). Available at:
iii World Bank, “Physicians (per 1,000 people),” (2010). Available at: