Contraception: Commitment to Education and Family Planning


Family planning and education are important steps toward breaking the cycle of poverty – both for women and their families and for the countries where they live.

According to estimates by the WHO (World Health Organization) more than 220 million women in developing and emerging countries want reliable contraception but have no access to it. They often do not have any possibility of protecting themselves against unwanted pregnancies. This in turn increases the risk of falling even deeper into poverty.
The freedom to personally determine the timing of a pregnancy helps reduce child mortality and improve maternal health. Above all it strengthens the position of women in society.

Facilitate Access to Contraceptives

The access to a broad range of hormonal contraceptives is crucial for the successful promotion of family planning.

Bayer supports programs for over 50 years, to date in more than 130 countries. One of these is these programs is the so-called “Contraceptive Security Initiative” (CIS). With the support of Bayer ad the USAID (United States Agency for International Development) the Initiative provides Microgynon® Fe to middle income consumers in sub-Saharan African markets via retail pharmacies and Bayer’s existing private sector supply chain. At the same time, Bayer develops new concepts to give women more family planning options, e.g. long-acting, reversible contraceptive methods. In recognition of our long-standing commitment, Bayer was the first pharmaceutical company to be accepted as a member of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition in 2007.

Family Planning Starts with Education

Access, availability and affordability are crucial in this regard. But only knowledge of the possibilities and benefits of active family planning and reproductive health empowers individuals to take independent decisions.

We think, that especially teenagers and young adults a need comprehensive sexual health education. This is why Bayer is engaged in projects with partners to empower
Partnering with White Ribbon Alliance and the UN, Bayer is also collaborating with key stakeholders to promote better self-care for the specific purpose of preventing maternal, newborn, and child death.

Provide Access to Contraceptives Worldwide

Sy Nuy Talib, mobile health adviser: “Every day I see how many women I help, how I change their lives. I love my job; it’s extremely important for our country.”
Tefetawit Gebre Aregawi, health officer: “A friend of mine became pregnant at the age of 14. She had an illegal abortion – and died from the effects of the operation.”
"When the women come to me," Tefetawit continues, "I always have to take into account that they're afraid to talk to me. I try to reach them on a human level, not the official one. Only when they open up a little can we talk about family planning."
"The men often have no idea what pressures their women are under," says Sy Nuy diplomatically. "That's why they either refuse to face up to the subject or else reject family planning outright. There is also a persistent rumor that contraceptives lead to permanent infertility."
"We carry out 1,300 abortions every month," says Melkanu Rideper. The nurse can hardly believe the figures himself. "I know from another Marie Stopes clinic that they have 1,500 a month. We have five hospitals in Addis altogether. In the two years when I worked in the countryside, there were also 500 to 600 abortions a month, even though the population density was much lower there."

Promoting family planning successfully is access to contraceptives themselves. This includes the freedom to choose between different methods available. Bayer supports family planning programs by offering a broad range of hormonal contraceptives.
We manufacture the contraceptives specifically for these programs and sell them to the aid organizations at a low, but cost-covering price. Our clients then take care of the distribution of the contraceptives in cooperation with the local health authorities, either free-of-charge or for a small fee. At the same time, we are developing new concepts to give women more family planning options in developing countries, where access to clinics is often limited and stock-outs are common.

Every day I see how many women I help, how I change their lives. I love my job; it’s extremely important for our country.

Sy Nuy Talib, mobile health adviser in Ethiopia

The Jadelle Access Program which Bayer has together with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provides access to this still underutilized method and gives women more options so they can choose the method that works best for them. The program was developed by a range of public and private sector organizations with a shared commitment to expanding contraceptive access and options for women around the world.