During the opening plenary session of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC) meeting on Oct 13, 2016, Ms. Perri Sutton – a strong champion of family planning in the DRC – welcomed participants to her home city of Seattle, Washington. During her remarks, she specifically named the DRC to underscore the urgent need to improve access to quality contraceptives. She cited the case of women in the DRC whom she had seen waiting for two full days at a health center, desperate to obtain an implant free of charge.
DRC figured on the program with the presentation of results from the recently completed FPwatch study in Kinshasa and Katanga (as well as Nigeria). FPwatch provides in-depth information on the availability of contraceptive methods through all types of outlets in the public and private sector. Bryan Shaw, PSI study director for FPwatch, presented the results for both Nigeria and the DRC. Subsequently, four panelists commented on the findings: Dr. Jennifer Ayanti and Dr. Kayode Afolabi of Nigeria; Dr. Godéfroid Mpanya of ASF/PSI, and Dr. Arsene Binanga, President of the CTMP/DRC. The DRC was one of only five countries worldwide to be selected for the FPwatch survey, and the third to have published results.
In a separate session Mr. Jerry Parks of PATH presented ongoing work on the Total Market Approach for Kinshasa. PATH’s TMA work involves strengthening the capacity of the local contraceptive security committee, as well as expanding its reach by assessing and inviting private sector family planning organizations to participate in planning activities. In addition, PATH is planning a workshop with the representatives of the CTMP, as well as government and private sector groups to develop a national coordination plan for FP activities using the total market approach as a framework.
Research briefs from the FPwatch surveys are available for Kinshasa and Katanga (below). The full report is expected by December 2016.