Assessment of Pharmacist Provision of Contraceptives in Senegal

© 2013 Diana Mrazikova/ Networks/ Senegal, Courtesy of Photoshare

In 2012, the Direction of Reproductive Health and Child Survival (DSRSE) of the Ministry of Health (MoH) of Senegal adopted, for the period 2012-2015, an ambitious National Action Plan for Family Planning (NAPFP). This NAPFP aimed to raise the contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) from 12% in 2012 to 27% by 2015 and 45% by 2020. The NAPFP adopted a multi-sectoral approach that makes the private sector (for-profit and not-for-profit) and community-based organizations (CBOs) key partners of the public sector in the implementation of the plan.

Since 2012, the country’s family planning (FP) program has made considerable progress, increasing the CPR to 20% in 2014. CBOs and not-for-profit organizations are actively involved in both FP promotion and service delivery. However, private pharmacies (which make up the majority of the private, for-profit sector) are currently not engaged in service provision, as Senegalese laws specify that private pharmacies can only provide FP counseling to prospective users. Therefore, even though private pharmacies are often the first point of contact for many health seekers, they are excluded from actual delivery of FP services and can only refer individuals to a public health or not-for-profit facility or to a private doctor for FP services. This is a potential barrier to FP access for some individuals and couples.

The Evidence Project is conducting a study to generate evidence to advocate for greater involvement of private pharmacies in FP service provision, with the ultimate goal of better responding to the reproductive health needs of Senegalese individuals and couples.