Kenya MOH circular to improve EC access for survivors of sexual violence

In April 2016, Zambia hosted a regional technical meeting, “Harmonizing national abortion and pregnancy prevention laws and policies for sexual violence survivors with the Maputo Protocol”. Representatives attended from six sub-Saharan countries – Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda and Zambia – along with regional and global experts, convened by Population Council, the World Health Organization, and the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception. This recent article documents the meeting’s proceedings.

As a result, the Kenya delegation drafted a Plan of Action identifying the objective to broaden availability of emergency contraception (EC) in public sector health facilities for improved access by survivors, and proposed a Ministerial Circular on the issue.

On 7 February 2018, the Director of Medical Services in Kenya has sent out a Ministerial Circular (MOH/ADM/1/1/2) to all the 47 county level ministers of health, county directors of health and all health facility management committees. The Council of Governors (the administrative and political leaders of county governments) have also endorsed the circular, critical since the provision of health services is devolved to the counties as per the 2010 Kenya’s Constitution. The circular is being shared by the county leadership within each of the 47 counties.

The circular’s main objective is to reorganize the distribution of EC pills within public health facilities and clinics to improve access and uptake by sexual violence survivors, 24 hours/7 days a week, free of charge, and as quickly as possible for effective use.

Thus, EC pills will now be accessible and available from additional sites (within health facilities) including outpatient, inpatient, and comprehensive care centres. This broadens availability from the usual channel of family planning clinics–usually in a separate location from outpatient clinics and emergency rooms, and only operating during normal business hours.

The circular also highlights the importance of capacity building and continuing medical education for EC.

Please see additional resources on EC for survivors of sexual violence:



New blog post on recent provider training and client counselling tools for emergency contraception

Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) are an important part of the family planning method mix and for post-rape care, being the only effective way to reduce the risk of pregnancy after sex, whether unprotected, insufficiently protected or coerced.  As ICEC’s mission is to ensure the safe and locally-appropriate use of EC in all reproductive health programming, recent investments have been made to support the global health care workforce by improving provider training and client counselling and awareness of ECPs at the global, regional and country levels.

Read the whole blog at this link.

Emergency contraception in the French-language TV series C’est la vie / La contraception d’urgence dans la série télévisée C’est la vie

We are very pleased to share this new resource with you – a storyline on emergency contraception in the television drama series C’est la vie, which revolves around the daily life of a health centre in the imaginary neighbourhood of Ratanga, in West Africa.

Since so few women know that EC exists, the NGO RAES (African network for health education) and ICEC collaborated on a storyline about EC over the course of 2016 and 2017, the story of the characters Rachel and Julien. Episode 22 is now available online via TV5Afrique.
We also produced a discussion guide (in French), which can be used to lead community  discussions about the topics in the show.

For English listeners, subtitles are available on this Youtube link here.

Il nous fait un grand plaisir de vous partager une nouvelle ressource – une intrigue sur la contraception d’urgence dans la série télévisée C’est la vie, qui tourne autour du quotidien d’un centre de santé dans le quartier imaginaire de Ratanga, en Afrique de l’ouest.

Comme le niveau de connaissance de cette méthode est très faible au niveau mondial, l’ONG RAES (Réseau africain pour l’éducation à la santé) et ICEC (le Consortium international pour la contraception d’urgence) avions collaboré ensemble au long de 2016 et 2017 pour créer cette intrigue, maintenant en diffusion en-ligne sur le site internet de TV5Afrique (l’épisode 22). Il s’agit de l’histoire des personnages Rachel et Julien.

Nous avions également collaboré à la rédaction d’un guide de discussion, pour accompagner les séances de visionnement communautaires.

Pour les téléspectateurs anglophones, le sous-titrage est disponible sur ce lien-ci.

New article on BMC Proceedings about access to EC for survivors of sexual violence (April 2018)

In April 2016 in Lusaka, Zambia, the Population Council, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception (ICEC) convened a three-day regional technical meeting to help countries meet their obligations under the Maputo Protocol to promote the reproductive health and rights of women and girl survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence.

The meeting focused on the prevention and management of pregnancy, with access to EC and to safe abortion services. Participating countries include Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, and Zambia. ICEC provided technical assistance on emergency contraception (EC).

This newly-published paper in BMC Proceedings documents the proceedings from the regional meeting. As regards to EC, it details:

  • technical updates on EC, as an essential component of comprehensive SGBV care
  • the current situation in participating countries with respect to national guidelines, laws, policies and practice
  • key challenges to EC access
  • opportunities to expand access to EC

ICEC Webinar Series recordings

Thank you for joining ICEC for our webinar series on various topics related to emergency contraception, hosted from December 2017 – February 2018.

We had many excellent panelists and covered a broad range of topics. In case you missed any, you can now listen to the recordings at the links below.

  1. Can EC contribute to FP 2020 goals? Data on knowledge and use from PMA2020 and DHS
  2. Is EC Affordable? A global webinar
  3. Is EC accessible in crisis settings?- Please follow up directly with Angel Foster ([email protected]) for slides and recording of webinar
  4. Contested Access: EC in Malta, Peru, US, and other challenging environments
  5. Anticoncepción de emergencia: nuevas recomendaciones clínicas y estrategias innovadoras para ampliar el acceso
  6. Contraception d’urgence: activités récentes pour améliorer l’accès en Afrique francophone

Contraception d’urgence: activités récentes pour améliorer l’accès en Afrique francophone, le mercredi, 25 avril 2018

For English, see below

La série de webinars de l’ICEC tire à sa fin avec deux forums visant à élargir le dialogue régional sur la contraception d’urgence (CU). En début d’avril, un premier webinar a eu lieu en espagnol, et nous poursuivons avec ce forum en français.

Il se concentrera sur les activités récentes visant à améliorer l’accès à la CU en Afrique francophone. Nous partagerons les dernières recommandations cliniques pour la prestation de ce médicament. Des questions sur l’accès au niveau régional seront discutées, telles la Liste de médicaments essentiels, la nouvelle molécule UPA et le prix de la CU sur le continent africain. Les participants partageront les résultats portant sur l’accès à la CU dans les pharmacies et sur la connaissance des femmes à Kinshasa de cette méthode. Des stratégies novatrices pour augmenter le niveau de connaissance des femmes et des prestataires seront également mis en évidence.

Rejoignez-nous le mercredi 25 avril. Inscrivez-vous ici:

9h New York; 13h Dakar, Abidjan, 14h Kinshasa, Yaoundé, 15h Paris, Bruxelles, 16h Antananarivo

Avec la participation de:
Aminata Lenormand, RHSC SECONAF
Aminatou Sar, PATH Sénégal
Mbadu Muanda, Programme national de la santé de reproduction, Ministère de la santé, RDC
Arsene Binanga, Tulane International, RDC
Julie Hernandez, Tulane University
Mbathio Diaw, Réseau africain pour l’éducation à la santé, Sénégal
Christophe Alimasi, Centre des programmes de communication-RDC
Melissa Garcia, Consortium international pour la contraception d’urgence (ICEC)


ICEC’s webinar series concludes with two non-English fora aimed at encouraging regional dialogue around emergency contraception. In early April we held one in Spanish, and continue with this forum in French.

This presentation is  focused on the recent activities to increase access to EC in Francophone Africa. An update will be provided on the clinical guidelines on provision of EC. Regional-level issues about access will be discussed, such the Essential Medicines List, the new molecule UPA and the price of EC. Participants will share results   about EC access in pharmacies and women’s levels of knowledge in Kinshasa. Participants will highlight their innovative strategies for increasing women and providers’ awareness levels.

Join us on Wednesday, April 25th. Register here for the webinar:

9hr New York; 13h Dakar, Abidjan, 14h Kinshasa, Yaounde, 15h Paris, Bruxelles, 16h Antananarivo

The panel includes:

  • Aminata Lenormand, RHSC SECONAF
  • Aminatou Sar, PATH Senegal
  • Mbadu Muanda, National Program for Reproductive Health, Ministry of Health, DRC
  • Arsene Binanga, Tulane International, DRC
  • Julie Hernandez, Tulane University
  • Mbathio Diaw, Réseau Africain pour l’éducation à la santé, Senegal
  • Christophe Alimasi, Center for Communication Programs, DRC
  • Melissa Garcia, ICEC

April webinar series on Emergency contraception: promoting regional dialogues (in Spanish on April 9, in French on April 25)

Continuing  ICEC’s webinar series, please join us for a Spanish-language discussion on EC on April 9th at 11am EDT. 11 a.m. – 12. p.m EDT.  11h00 La Paz, Santo Domingo, New York; 9h00 Tegucigalpa; 10h00 Bogotá, Lima, Quito; 12h00 Santiago de Chile, Rio de Janeiro; 17h00 Barcelona

The webinar will include an update on the clinical guidelines on provision of EC pills, and advocacy experiences at the country and regional levels. Register here.

Speakers include:

  • Cristina Puig, ICEC/ECEC
  • Melissa Garcia, ICEC
  • Brenda Ibetle Alvarez , Promsex, Peru
  • Jinna Rosales, GOJoven, Honduras
  • Rossina Guerrero, Consorcio Latinoamericano de Anticoncepción de Emergencia (CLAE)


Following this, ICEC will be hosting a French-language webinar highlighting francophone Africa, on April 25, 9 a.m. EDT. More details to follow.

Journal article published on perceptions of ECPs in Kinshasa, DRC

New research on the Awareness and Perceptions of Emergency Contraceptive Pills Among Women in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo was published in the International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health journal. This article, co-authored by ICEC’s Melissa Garcia, is the second part of a qualitative research study conducted in Kinshasa, DRC.

The study used a methodology of focus group discussions among women aged 15-35 to examine awareness, and perceptions of, and attitudes towards emergency contraceptives (EC). DHS data for DRC shows knowledge of levonorgestrel ECPs is low, at 18.8%. Results found that women reported employing a wide range of behaviors to prevent pregnancy, with women often using inappropriate products, ex. deworming medicine or antimalarial medicines. Once levonorgestrel ECPs were described to them, and they were asked about potential benefits and risks of making EC more widely available, participants generally agreed that levonorgestrel ECPs could potentially meet their contraceptive needs.

Authors are Julie H. Hernandez, Mbadu Muanda, Melissa Garcia, Grace Matawa, from Tulane University, the National Program for Adolescent Health and the National Program for Reproductive Health, DRC Ministry of Health, and the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception.

Emergency Contraception Information updated in Third Edition of Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers

In support of the global family planning workforce, a new edition of Family Planning: A Global Handbook for Providers, commonly known as the Global Handbook, will be released on February 15 in New Delhi, India, at the 2018 Regional Consortium Meeting of the Implementing Best Practices (IBP) Initiative.

ICEC reviewed and endorsed this important document, which contains information on the ulipristal acetate form of EC and includes detailed updates on when to start a family planning method after taking emergency contraception. See the Chapter on EC here.

Written in plain terms and organized for quick review, the Global Handbook has served as the world’s standard reference on family planning methods and related topics since its first publication in 2006. To date, more than 500,000 copies have been distributed in 13 languages. This will be the third edition published jointly by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the World Health Organization (WHO), with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and its Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project. The Global Handbook is endorsed by more than 125 organizations worldwide. The website at has been redesigned for easier navigation and use on mobile devices.

ICEC hosting EC dissemination meeting in Nigeria

On 1 February, 2018 the International Consortium for Emergency Contraception (ICEC) hosted a meeting in Abuja, Nigeria with various stakeholders in the region, including the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH).  The aim of this meeting is to share recent achievements and explore next steps for EC in Nigeria.

ICEC has been working in Nigeria with multiple partners since 2010 to increase access to EC, with a strategic approach focused on the policy, service delivery, awareness, provider, and community levels.  Under the current grant starting in 2014, ICEC advocated for EC to be included into Nigeria’s Essential Medicine List and provided technical assistance as Nigeria drafted their first-ever National Guidelines for Emergency Contraception.

Over the past year, there have been numerous activities by all partners to continue work in supporting these guidelines. Products that came out of this range from: client communications around EC, pharmacy detailing materials, and EC storylines inserted into radio dramas. These materials will be disseminated as we convene the FP/RH community to determine next steps for EC in Nigeria.