The design and assessment of a task-shifting contraceptive insertion device: Increasing access to long-term contraception in rural low- and middle-income countries

Organization: 
University of Michigan
Organization Location: 
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Worldwide, 113 million women have unmet contraceptive needs. If these needs were met 54 million unintended pregnancies would be prevented, 26 million abortions avoided (16 million of which are unsafe), 7 million miscarriages averted, 79 thousand maternal and 1.1 million infant deaths avoided. While long-term forms of contraception are preferred by governments and women, these forms of contraception require more advanced training to administer and, thus, it is more challenging to provide access to this form of contraception, particularly in rural areas of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In this proposal, we describe an assistive medical device that dramatically reduces the training required to administer subcutaneous contraceptive implants (a long-term form of contraception). The device ensures accurate insertion of the contraceptive implant and minimizes the risk of incorrect placement (a major concern during implant removal). Through use of this device, community healthcare workers (prevalent in rural areas of LMICs) would be enabled to administer a crucial form of long-term contraception and increase access to an underserved population. We propose a three phase process wherein we will perform pre-clinical testing to ensure device efficacy and safety, conduct a small scale clinical trial in Ethiopia, and establish a sustainable plan to ensure scalability to other LMICs.

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