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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


SHARMA, Suneeta; GRIBBLE, James N.  and  MENOTTI, Elaine P.. Creating options in family planning for the private sector in Latin America. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2005, vol.18, n.1, pp.37-44. ISSN 1680-5348.

The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean are facing the gradual phaseout of international-donor support of contraceptive commodities and technical and management assistance, as well as an increased reliance on limited public sector resources and a limited private sector role in providing contraceptives to the public. Therefore, those nations must develop multisectoral strategies to achieve contraceptive security. The countries need to consider information about the market for family planning commodities and services in order to define and promote complementary roles for the public sector, the commercial sector, and the nongovernmental-organization sector, as well as to better identify which segments of the population each of those sectors should serve. While it is unable to mandate private sector participation, the public sector can create conditions that support and promote a greater role for the private sector in meeting the growing needs of family planning users. Taking steps to actively involve and expand the private sector's market share is a critical strategy for achieving a more equitable distribution of available resources, addressing unmet need, and creating a more sustainable future for family planning commodities and services. This paper also discusses in detail the experiences of two countries, Paraguay and Peru. Paraguay's family planning market illustrates a vibrant private sector, but with limited access to family planning commodities and services for those who cannot afford private sector prices. In Peru a 1995 policy change that sought to increase family planning coverage had the effect of restricting access for the poor and leaving the Ministry of Health unable to pay for the growing need for family planning commodities and services.

Keywords : Contraception; delivery of health care; family planning services; health services accessibility; marketing of health services; private sector; social marketing; Latin America; Caribbean region.

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