Examining and Strengthening the Role of Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors in the Provision of Injectable Contraception in Nigeria

Results from an implementation research study in Nigeria found that with training, Patent and Proprietary Medicine Vendors (PPMVs), regardless of their previous health care experience, could competently administer injectable contraceptives and that clients reported receiving quality services from trained PPMVs. From 2015 to 2018, the Evidence Project conducted a study to better understand the role of PPMVs in offering voluntary injectable services (e.g., selling, counseling, referring to health centers, and administering). The study was conducted in response to Nigeria’s family planning context and the role of PPMVs in the informal health sector.

In Nigeria, the bulk of contraceptive services are provided by private sources, including hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and PPMVs. Of the contraceptives used, injectable contraception is the most popular, accounting for approximately 40 percent of modern contraceptive use in the country. Among both public and private sources for family planning, PPMVs are the most popular for voluntary contraceptive services. According to Nigeria’s 2013 National Demographic Health Survey, 38 percent of all contraceptive users and 13 percent of injectable users received their method from a PPMV.

The knowledge generated from this study helps inform the potential scale-up of PPMV delivery of voluntary injectable contraceptive services. The evidence provides insights on how to support and mentor PPMVs to provide quality FP counseling and provision of injectable contraceptives.