What's New in STEP UP
Upcoming Event: On 6–8 July 2016 in Dakar, Senegal, STEP UP and the IUSSP Scientific Panel on Abortion Research are co-hosting an International Seminar on Medication Abortion. This seminar will share results from new studies and new research approaches in order to stimulate and advance research on use of medication abortion and its impact. Papers presented will focus on availability, accessibility, and use of medication abortion and its impact on abortion safety and women’s health and survival.
New Policy Brief and Journal Article: STEP UP recently published the journal article, Pharmacy workers’ knowledge and provision of medication for termination of pregnancy in Kenya. It concludes that pharmacy workers are important providers of information and referrals for women seeking abortion, but their medical abortion knowledge is limited. The related Policy Brief, "Pharmacy workers in Kenya need training and support on medical abortion information and referrals to prevent unsafe service provision," offers recommendations to medical training institutions on how to improve pharmacy worker training through skills training, curriculum improvement, and professional development. Recommendations are also made regarding inclusion of pharmacists in national guidelines, improving referral linkages, and the importance of sensitivity training.
New Meeting Report: This meeting report, published in French with an English executive summary, shares the results of a dissemination meeting of research on the experience of women who suffered an unwanted pregnancy resulting from rape or incest to bring the voice of these women to the debate on the legalization of safe abortion. This meeting discussed study results and developed recommendation through the collaborative efforts of the organizers as well as key stakeholders attending the meeting.
Recent Event: On 11–13 April 2016, STEP UP co-hosted the Workshop on harmonizing national abortion and pregnancy prevention laws & policies for survivors of SGBV in Lusaka, Zambia. This workshop tackled policy gaps and inconsistencies that hinder the access of sexual violence survivors to pregnancy prevention and management services. The meeting builds on a 16-country review by the Population Council which called for regional workshops to be convened to promote and support the updating and consolidation of national guidance by countries (including the medical sector, the judiciary, and civil society) to enhance the alignment of health system policies with national laws and rights commitments.
New Case Study: STEP UP is launching a new Research Uptake Case Study series. Case Studies will highlight impact on policies and programmes and offer insights into both successful strategies and lessons learned. We are pleased to share our first Case Study: "SENEGAL: The impact of a study on misoprostol use and knowledge among pharmacists." The Case Study is linked to the original research report and evidence brief from this activity.
What's New in Unintended Pregnancy
Upcoming Event: "Evidence 2016" will be held in Pretoria South Africa on 20–22 September 2016. This event (organised by the Africa Evidence Network) aims to encourage and promote evidence-informed decision-making in Africa and contribute to the development of effective public policies, efficient implementation of services, and joint learning on interventions that tackle poverty and inequality in African countries. Abstracts must be submitted by 31 May 2016. Click here for more information.
New Resource: The Newlywed-Subharambha Project concept aims to reach out to Nepalese young couples who are planning their conjugal lives but may not have thought about planning their family. In an attempt to increase low rates of contraceptive use in Nepal, this newly-launched website offers both wedding services as well as advice on family planning and reproductive health.
Opportunity: The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) is conducting a stakeholder survey to assess the demand for evidence around adolescent sexual and reproductive heath (ASRH). The main topics in the survey include: how you use evidence around ASRH programming and policy; identifying evidence gaps on various ASRH topics; and current and future trends on ASRH programming. Please respond by Friday, 20 May.
New Communication Tools: Recent social and behavior change communication materials have been produced by the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) to help providers counsel young women on LARCs, including a video and video discussion guide for family planning providers, programme managers, and senior staff; a take-home brochure (one with photos, one with stills from the video) that provides information on LARCs for dissemination in clinic or non-clinic settings, and a series of posters encouraging youth to learn about and consider using LARCs.
New Resource: PATH has developed a Total Marketing Approach (TMA) planning guide to increase access to family planning. The guide and toolkit, produced by The Evidence Project, contain practical information and specific tools to help organizations and other planners conduct a landscape assessment, the first phase in developing a TMA. The guide itself is specifically designed to be used by anyone working with any type of RH commodity.
News in U.S. Unintended Pregnancy: According to a new Guttmacher study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the U.S. unintended pregnancy rate declined by 18% between 2008 and 2011. Improved contraceptive use—and, in particular, a shift to highly effective contraceptive methods—is the likely driver of this decline, which occurred among virtually all demographic groups. Yet disparities remain, particularly for poorer women and women of color.
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