Access to Family Planning on World Contraception Day

Today is World Contraception Day!  There are 215 million women around the world that lack access to contraception.  In low resource settings where family planning services are not readily available, women have more pregnancy related complications and higher rates of maternal mortality.

Lack of access to family planning can also have harsh consequences on a family’s social and financial stability.  The inability to continue schooling, to adequately care for and feed existing family members, and increases in maternal mortality cause many families to remain in poverty.

With access to family planning, women have fewer unintended pregnancies, and importantly, fewer pregnancy related deaths.  Families have more time and resources to care for the children they have, and mothers and children are more likely to stay in school and pursue careers that contribute to the local economy – which ultimately leads to more stable economies and healthier populations.

Direct Relief USA would like to thank Teva Pharmaceuticals  for providing a generous donation of women’s health contraceptive products. In 2012 Direct Relief worked with its nationwide network of clinic and health center partners to deliver these contraceptive  units to assist uninsured, low-income individuals treated by safety-net providers.

Dr. Monir Shalaby, Medical Director of EXCELth Family Health Center in New Orleans, LA, which received donated ParaGard®, said, “Many of our clients desire effective family planning methods but due to economic burdens are unable to afford contraception. Having this resource will greatly improve our ability to deliver holistic care and will enable patients to implement effective family planning.”

Since 2008, Teva Pharmaceuticals has donated  essential medications to Direct Relief valued at more than $100 million (wholesale).

Paulina Ospina, Senior Program Manager

Paulina Ospina joined Direct Relief in 2009 with prior work experience in the pharmaceutical industry and clinical research. Paulina’s background is in public health and she has worked with underserved populations in primary care clinics both abroad and in the United States. Paulina is responsible for the day-to-day operations of Direct Relief’s Replenishment Program which provides an alternative to traditional Patient Assistance Programs for safety net clinics to access medication for their uninsured, low-income patients. Fluent in Spanish, Paulina holds a Master in Health Science in international health from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health as well as a B.A. in biological anthropology and anatomy from Duke University and an M.A. in anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is a certified clinical research coordinator and a member of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals.

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