An interview with Sandra Barahona

Midwife Sandra Barahona, 28, entered and won a competition, run by the RIAMA network of midwives in Peru, a network supported by the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition’s regional forum, ForoLAC. The competition was about using social media for sexual and reproductive health advocacy. Sandra shares safe sex and sexual and reproductive health messages (SRH) with her 112,000 TikTok followers. ForoLAC Regional Advisor Milka Dinev catches up with her.

I was originally going to opt for medicine, but I discovered that midwifery was the perfect fit: there are so many fields within that career choice. …

An interview with Salma Elguera

Salma Elguera, 24, is a RIAMA midwife in Peru who uses TikTok to reach out to young people with important sexual and reproductive health messages. RIAMA is a network of midwives supported by the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition’s regional forum ForoLAC. Salma has more than 700K followers who flock to her site to learn about everything from female masturbation to how long intercourse lasts. She tells ForoLAC Regional Advisor Milka Dinev about how she got started, what keeps her going, and how patients flock to her after having seen her on TikTok.

After high school I was undecided, but was…

Sana’a, Yemen (2015) — Almigdad Mojalli/VOA

LAPTOP Scholar Wadhah Hubaishi goes head-to-head with supply chain failure in war-torn Yemen

How do supply chain systems run smoothly across countries are torn apart by instability, like Yemen? In large part, due to committed supply chain professionals like Wadhah Hubaishi, one of the RHSC’s LAPTOP Scholars.

“In a commercial context, the worst impact of an inefficient supply chain is probably financial loss, but when a medical or humanitarian supply chain fails, the consequence can be as dire as the loss of lives,” he says. “It was a sobering realization which gave me a renewed sense of urgency and drive in my work.”

In Clemence Matsika’s world, supply chains make a difference between life and death. Zimbabwe is a country heavily dependent on imports of food, medicines, and infrastructure, Matsika explains, and this high dependency on imports presented a terrible challenge in March 2019 when Cyclone Idai hit. Idai is, to date, one of the worst tropical cyclones to affect Africa and the Southern Hemisphere, causing catastrophic damage and a humanitarian crisis in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, leaving more than 1,300 people dead and many more missing.

“We were too lax,” Matsika remembers. “We were not prepared enough, and we expected the cyclone…

Why timely contraceptive orders are critical, especially in these troubled times.

Last month, the RHSC’s Latin America and Caribbean Forum (ForoLAC) received a desperate call. A country in the region was nearly stocked out of two-rod contraceptive implants and needed 100,000 units urgently. The scramble that followed raised the curtain on an ominous reality: lead production times for many contraceptive products are at an all-time high.

How misperceptions of the manufacturing sector do no favours for contraceptive access

By Brian McKenna, Deputy Director, RHSC

The contraceptive procurement space is not in the best of health. In recent months, we witnessed the impact of COVID-19 on virtually all aspects of supply chains. But even before that, for various reasons, demand was far outstripping supply for key contraceptive products. Over at least the next two years, supply shortfalls are expected to continue across many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

All is not well, but why?

While a variety of reasons may exist, scratch beneath the surface and it becomes evident that, even prior to the pandemic, the business case was becoming increasingly less sound for sustained…

Sara Stratton (Co-Chair - Advocacy and Accountability Working Group/RHSC), Nene Fofana-Cissé (Chair - SECONAF/RHSC), Charlotte Soulary (Advocacy & European Network Officer/RHSC), Nora Quesada (Chair - ForoLAC/RHSC)

Tomorrow is World Contraception Day, a day on which our community has habitually celebrated progress, highlighted ongoing needs, and reminded world leaders of their commitments to achieve zero unmet need for family planning by 2030.

Indeed, in recent years there have been improvements in technology and in access, in supply chain visibility, and in the accountability and commitment of governments to universal access to reproductive health (RH) products.

By Charlotte Soulary, Advocacy Officer, Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition

“Many challenges existed before the COVID-19 crisis, in particular the difficulty to access menstrual products in rural areas. But the crisis has exacerbated these pre-existing challenges.”

COVID-19 has seriously compromised access to menstrual health materials.

From a supply perspective, the RHSC and our members face three main challenges: (1) a disrupted production of supplies, (2) many interruptions throughout the supply chains, and (3) delayed or failed product delivery. Production is disrupted due to reduced workforce at manufacturing plants because of social distancing requirements for factories; closure of factories; and the fact that production of personal protective equipment has taken priority…

The story of the RHInterchange

In the face of supply chain disruptions resulting from the current COVID-19 pandemic, the family planning community has turned to RHSC’s data sources for more clarity. The Global FP VAN, for example, provides insight into product flows and also the relative risk of supply chain disruptions. The VAN’s public-access dashboards — RHViz — allow the analysis of $2.17 billion worth of contraceptive orders and shipments. The recent inauguration of RHViz embodies a principle of data sharing and a collaborative spirit which take their inspiration from the very creation of the RHSC.

For more than a decade, Coalition partners have worked…

by John P Skibiak, Director, Reproductive Health supplies Coalition

The old saying goes “no product, no program”. The Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition was established over a decade and a half ago for that very purpose: to ensure access to a range of affordable, quality assured supplies.

But the phrase “no product, no program” rests on certain fundamental assumptions — not the least of which is the capacity of programs to deliver services. In many ways, COVID is calling that assumption into question. …

Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC)

We are the world’s largest network of reproductive health supplies organizations.

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