Washington (AFP) - A contraceptive shot will soon be available at one dollar per dose in 69 of the world's poorest countries, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Pfizer pharmaceuticals announced Thursday.
The move expands a pilot program already begun in a handful of African countries to offer Sayana Press, a single-dose contraceptive which lasts for about three months.
It is based on the Depo-Provera injection but packaged differently, into a plastic bubble with a short needle attached, making it easy to administer beneath the skin.
"The reality is that today, over 200 million women around the world want to prevent or time their pregnancies but lack the means to do that," said Chris Elias, a doctor with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
"Through this agreement we are able to ensure this product will be available in the poorest countries for a dollar a dose."
Sayana Press has already been introduced in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Uganda, and its use will expand to other countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia.