Stakeholder consultation held, titled Expanding Contraceptive Choices in India: Focus on New and Underutilized Methods (PROGRESS)
NEW DELHI — As part of a partnership to increase contraceptive choices for women in India, Advocating for Reproductive Choices (ARC) organized a stakeholder consultation titled "Expanding Contraceptive Choices in India: Focus on New and Underutilized Methods." Technical assistance for the meeting was provided by FHI 360's PROGRESS project and Marie Stopes India. Held on September 6, 2012, in New Delhi, the meeting was attended by approximately 85 participants, including representatives from the government, the donor community, academic and technical organizations, and implementing partners. Stakeholders at the meeting recognized the important role that increasing access to new and underutilized methods — including implants, injectables, the hormonal intrauterine system (IUS), diaphragms, the Standard Days Method (SDM) and the Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) — can play in reducing unmet need and improving maternal and child health in India.
- To share global evidence and experiences on new contraceptive methods
- To share in-country experiences and best practices on increasing the uptake of underutilized contraceptive methods
- To inform, engage and influence partners and stakeholders by sharing scientific and clinical updates and information about the technical feasibility of expanding access to new and underutilized contraceptives
- To identify priority areas for advocacy and create an environment for sharing policy outcomes related to contraceptive choices
|Ms. Sheena Chhabra explains the USAID perspective.|
In the inaugural session, welcome remarks were made by Mr. Avinash Chaudhury of ARC, followed by an inaugural address by Dr. Saroj Pachauri of the Population Council. Ms. Sheena Chhabra then shared the perspective of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and Dr. S.K. Sikdar of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) provided the keynote address.
|Dr. S.K. Sikdar of the MOHFW co-chairs a technical session.|
The first technical session, entitled "Evidence and Best Practices on New and Underutilized Contraceptives," was chaired by Dr. S.K. Sikdar and Dr. Kalpana Apte of the Family Planning Association (FPA) of India. The following presentations were made, with slides available by clicking on the contraceptive methods listed below. (The slides represent the thinking of the presenting organizations and not necessarily that of FHI 360.)
Implants [PDF, 511 KB]: Mr. Martyn Smith, Country Director, Marie Stopes India
Levonorgestrel intrauterine system [PDF, 119 KB]: Dr. David Hubacher, Senior Epidemiologist, FHI 360
Injectables [PDF, 510 KB]: Ms. Shuvi Sharma, Deputy Director, Futures Group
Diaphragms [PDF, 333 KB]: Ms. Sita Shankar, Director, Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition, PATH India
LAM and SDM [PDF, 1.4 MB]: Ms. Priya Jha, Country Representative, Institute for Reproductive Health
Following these presentations, a discussion about donors' perspectives was chaired by Dr. Sushma Dureja, Deputy Commissioner for Family Planning, MOHFW, and Ms. Poonam Mutreja, Executive Director, Population Foundation of India (PFI). In this session, Mr. V.S. Chandrashekhar of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and Mr. Billy Stewart of the Department for International Development (DFID) shared their views on introducing new and underutilized contraceptives through public and private sectors in India.
In the two weeks preceding the meeting, a related discussion entitled "Moving from Rhetoric to Action: Making the Case for the Introduction of New Contraceptives to India" was held online through the India Family Planning e-Forum. During the stakeholder consultation, Dr. Bitra George, Country Director of FHI 360 in India, presented key highlights from the forum, which are summarized in this brief [PDF, 485 KB].
|Dr. Bitra George leads a discussion on the India Family Planning e-Forum.|
During the afternoon, the participants held small group discussions to develop recommendations for creating an advocacy plan. The closing session was chaired by Mr. Pradhan, Deputy Drug Controller General of India, and Dr. Suneeta Mittal, former head of the Department of Gynaecology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The closing session also included remarks from Mr. Shejo Bose of ARC, Dr. Bitra George and Mr. Martyn Smith.
Click here [PDF, 395 KB] for a full report from the consultation.