Sayana Press, a three-month progestin-only injectable contraceptive that combines the drug and needle in a Uniject injection system has been approved by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Advocates believe that this would make for easy access to the contraceptive. The contraceptive allows for self–injection by users.Nigeria is not the first country to approve the contraceptive as the United kingdom has and several countries have been making attempts to do the same.
In a press release signed by Dimos Sakellaridis, the Director of DKT Nigeria, the contraceptive was stated to be small, easy-to-carry around, easy-to-use and requires minimal training which makes it the perfect option for rural areas, community-based distribution efforts and for women to use themselves.
Since its introduction in the year 2014, the contraceptive has been applauded to be one of a kind, ease of use, ability to be used by not-too-skilled health practitioners and even users themselves being its major advantages.
DKT Nigeria in the year 2014 became the first programme to introduce Sayana Press commercially through social marketing in Africa, with funding from the Bill & Gates Foundation and the Children Investment Fund Foundation and in partnership with Pfizer.
Sayana Press has been distributed in seven southwestern states of the country and is still expanding.
The contraceptive can be gotten from hospitals, clinics, maternity homes and pharmacies. It can also be gotten from the “DKT Bees“, a team of community health workers trained to make confidential counselling and family planning services easily available to every woman . They operate in some of the most disadvantaged parts of Lagos State.
Dimos Sakellaridis, the Director of DKT Nigeria believes that it will take some time before self-injection can be practised in Nigeria.
“The Federal Ministry of Health wants to coordinate the effort among all partners and stakeholders. In the short term, I do not see any significant changes on how we market and promote Sayana Press in Nigeria, however, the long-term benefits will be massive,” he said.
According to the Director, such benefits include accessibility to the product and also some of the product advantages such as discretion will be greatly appreciated by users.