Worldwide Support for Family Planning

Partnership Objective

Make high-quality, modern hormonal contraceptives available and accessible to women in low-resource areas.

Jane Maenaria, nurse at the Kajiado District Hospital, Kenya, explains the use of oral contraceptives. Jane Maenaria, nurse at the Kajiado District Hospital, Kenya, explains the use of oral contraceptives. Copyright Bayer HealthCare

What are the health needs and challenges?

According to estimates by the WHO published in 2012, more than 200 million women in low and middle-income countries want reliable and modern contraception, but have no access to it. The Annual Report of DSW (Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung) states that every year 80 million women unintentionally become pregnant worldwide, and more than half a million die of complications during pregnancy or childbirth. Women in developing and emerging countries often do not have any possibility of protecting themselves against unintended pregnancies, which in turn increases the risk of falling even deeper into poverty.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

As a leader in hormonal contraception, Bayer has been supporting family-planning programs in more than 130 countries for 50 years. Bayer is part of a family planning network of public and private partners and offers a broad range of different high quality products, such as oral contraceptives, injectables and implants. In addition the company contributes its knowledge, skills and global networking contacts.

In 2009 and USAID Bayer launched the “Contraceptive Security Initiative” (CSI), the first ever collaboration between a public sector company and a US governmental organization. CSI provides our oral contraceptive Microgynon® Fe at an affordable price – in terms of local incomes – to middle income women in Sub-Saharan African countries. The program was launched in Ethiopia in 2010 and has since been extended to Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Burkina Faso. 

Apart from access to modern contraceptives, self-determined family planning also requires knowledge. Sex education – with a special focus on teenagers and young adults - is therefore an essential cornerstone for improving people’s future opportunities.

All activities within World Contraception Day aim to increase awareness of contraception. It is a coalition of 14 international NGOs, a governmental organization, and scientific and medical institutions with an interest in sexual and reproductive health matters.

Two projects within the framework of World Contraception Day have been developed in 2016 to support young people as role models. The new World Contraception Day Ambassadors Project – a partnership between Women Deliver and Bayer – equips young people with the skills they need to collect and share digital stories about young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Another youth empowerment program is “120 Under 40” to highlight the achievements of the next generation of family planning leaders worldwide. The program is led by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

In cooperation with the Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung the program "Improving the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Young Adolescents" (YAP project) targets teenagers aged between 10 and 14. YAP was started in Uganda and Kenya with the important component of involving school children’s social environment to ensure a sustainable improvement in their living situation.

Long-term commitment and sustainability are the pillars of Bayer’s engagement in family planning, which directly addressed three of the eight Millennium Goals defined by the United Nations. Now, no. 3 of the new Sustainable Development Goals recognizes health as a driver of global economic growth. This Health Goal has 13 targets, which, among others, cover child and maternal mortality and reproductive health. Bayer is also committed to the United Nations’ Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health.

Lessons learned

Major challenges of family planning programs are supply chain security and inventory management, which have to be addressed by all partnerships in the future.

Despite immense efforts, there is still a lack of awareness and access to information, as well as a discrepancy between the demand for contraceptive products and the accessibility of commodities.

The quality, security and geographical impact of family planning programs can only be improved by intensifying the information exchange between all the stakeholders and by maintaining a continuous dialogue.

Summary of impact and forward looking information

In January 2016, Bayer has renewed its engagement in the field of family planning and women’s health with the launch of the Jadelle Access Program. By halving the price of this still underutilized contraceptive method until 2023, this new program aims to make it more affordable and accessible, while helping women in poor countries expand their choice of contraceptive options.


DSW Ethiopia: Family Planning Story

Partnership information

Company(ies) Bayer

Partner(s) Amstel Pharma, Crown Agents, Danish International Development Agency (DIDA), Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung, German Association for International Co-operation (GIZ), German Development Bank KFW, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS Tuberculosis & Malaria, iMRES, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Marie Stopes International, Missionpharma, Population Services International (PSI), UK Department for International Development (DFID), UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund, US Agency for International Development (USAID), Women Deliver, World Bank, World Health Organization (WHO)

Type of Partner(s) Generic Manufacturers, Government, IGOs, NGOs, Other Business

Therapeutic Focus Women and Children's Health

Disease(s) Family Planning, Sexual & Reproductive Health

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Differential Pricing, Health System Infrastructure - Training, Prevention Programs - Awareness & Outreach

Targeted Population(s) Mothers, People with low income, Women, Youth

Region(s) East Asia & Pacific, Europe & Central Asia, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East & North Africa, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 117

Country(ies) Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, CĂ´te d'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Lithuania, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tanzania, Thailand, The Gambia, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Start Date 1966

More information Bayer

Anticipated completion date Ongoing

« Prevention is a question of income and education. »

Solomon Betre, Pharmacist, Ethiopia