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 ( 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.

Prescription still needed in South Korea to access ECPs

A recent news article made the point that South Korea has emergency contraception (EC) in name only. While the article isn’t entirely accurate around side effects and other information, it makes some important points on EC access in South Korea.

During a review of their guidelines, South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety made the decision not to update their national guidelines on emergency contraception pills (ECPs) in 2016, continuing to classify ECPs as a prescription drug available only with a doctor’s prescription.  This is in contrast to WHO’s EC factsheet, stating that ECPs are safe for over the counter access.

The ministry had concerns over possible misuse or overuse of the EC pill, citing the fear of “a socially more accepting attitude toward sexual activities expected after the pill became available over the counter”. They also cited “a lack of public knowledge and possible side effects” as a barrier to moving it to over-the-counter status.

ECPs are extremely safe, even when used repeatedly, and side effects are relatively minor, benign and easy to manage. For more detail, see  ICEC’s Clinical Guidelines, ICEC – WHO Safety statement, WHO’s Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use, and ICEC’s Repeated Use Factsheet.

More up-to-date information on availability of EC in South Korea can be found in our Status and Availability Database. Two regimens of LNG ECPs are available, detailed in ICEC’s  EC regimen update: a single pill of 1.5 mg, and two pills of 0.75 mg each.

Register for next ICEC Webinar on Contested Access: EC in Malta, Peru, USA and other challenging environments

Emergency contraception (EC) can be a flashpoint, and in many settings, opposition to EC access continues.  Since the 2000’s, attempts have been made to restrict access in the Philippines, Chile, Ecuador, the United States of America, Poland, Peru, Malta, Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, and Spain.

This webinar will share strategies and tactics used to confront or overcome political opposition to EC at different levels of the government. Presenters from Malta, Peru and the United States will discuss their experiences with product registration and license renewal, EC provision in the public sector, and exclusion in health insurance policies.


Moderator: Cristina Puig, European Consortium for Emergency Contraception.

Malta, Opposition to product registration: Dr. Lara Dimitrijevic, Director, Women’s Rights Foundation.

Peru, Opposition to EC provision in the public sector: Karen Anaya, Lawyer, Promsex.

USA, Opposition to EC in health insurance and the Affordable Care Act: Mara Gandal-Powers, Senior Counsel, National Women’s Law Center.

Date: Thursday, January 25th, 2018

Time: 10 am EST USA (Lima, Washington DC), 4 pm CET (Barcelona, La Valetta, Warsaw).


Webinar: Do women have access to emergency contraception in crisis settings?

Do women have access to emergency contraception in crisis settings?

EC is a lifesaving treatment essential in reproductive health programming in all stages of a humanitarian crisis, when health systems and regular contraceptive access are disrupted and when the risk of unintended pregnancy increase, along with sexual assault and transactional sex. However, multiple barriers to access are exacerbated in crises.

This webinar will provide a global overview of EC access in crisis settings, and include findings from research projects in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, among Congolese, Syrian, and Rohingya refugee women and girl refugees.

Register via this link and join us on Friday, 12 January, 2018 at 10 a.m. Lima, New York EST (7 am Seattle, 3 pm London, 4 pm Abuja and Brussels, 6 pm Nairobi, 8:30 pm New Delhi).

Presenters include:

  • Melissa Garcia (ICEC) will present a global overview of EC in crisis settings
  • Ruth Nara (University of Ottawa, International Development Research Centre) will discuss EC findings among Congolese refugees in Uganda
  • Mona El-Mowafi (University of Ottawa, Cambridge Reproductive Health Consultants) will describe EC knowledge, attitudes and provision among Syrian refugees in Jordan
  • Angel Foster (University of Ottawa, Cambridge Reproductive Health Consultants) present EC findings from RH needs assessment with Rohingya women and girls in Malaysia

Sarah Rich, Women’s Refugee Commission