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Contraception. 2018 Nov;98(5):389-395. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2018.05.018. Epub 2018 May 30.

Costs of administering injectable contraceptives through health workers and self-injection: evidence from Burkina Faso, Uganda, and Senegal.

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PATH, PO Box 900922, Seattle, WA 98109, USA. Electronic address:
PATH, PO Box 900922, Seattle, WA 98109, USA. Electronic address:
PATH, PO Box 7404, Kampala, Uganda. Electronic address:
PATH, PO Box 7404, Kampala, Uganda. Electronic address:
Independent consultant, Cite Menthor Diouf Villa N. 02 Zac Mbao, Dakar, Senegal. Electronic address:
Institut de Recherche en Sciences et de la Santé, P.O. Box 7192, Ouagadougou, 03, Burkina Faso. Electronic address:
PATH, PO Box 900922, Seattle, WA 98109, USA. Electronic address:
University of Washington, 1959 NE Pacific Street, Seattle, WA 98195, USA. Electronic address:
PATH, BP 15115, Dakar-Fann, Dakar, Senegal. Electronic address:
PATH, PO Box 900922, Seattle, WA 98109, USA. Electronic address:



To evaluate the 12-month total direct costs (medical and nonmedical) of delivering subcutaneous depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA-SC) under three strategies - facility-based administration, community-based administration and self-injection - compared to the costs of delivering intramuscular DMPA (DMPA-IM) via facility- and community-based administration.


We conducted four cross-sectional microcosting studies in three countries from December 2015 to January 2017. We estimated direct medical costs (i.e., costs to health systems) using primary data collected from 95 health facilities on the resources used for injectable contraceptive service delivery. For self-injection, we included both costs of the actual research intervention and adjusted programmatic costs reflecting a lower-cost training aid. Direct nonmedical costs (i.e., client travel and time costs) came from client interviews conducted during injectable continuation studies. All costs were estimated for one couple year of protection. One-way sensitivity analyses identified the largest cost drivers.


Total costs were lowest for community-based distribution of DMPA-SC (US$7.69) and DMPA-IM ($7.71) in Uganda. Total costs for self-injection before adjustment of the training aid were $9.73 (Uganda) and $10.28 (Senegal). After adjustment, costs decreased to $7.83 (Uganda) and $8.38 (Senegal) and were lower than the costs of facility-based administration of DMPA-IM ($10.12 Uganda, $9.46 Senegal). Costs were highest for facility-based administration of DMPA-SC ($12.14) and DMPA-IM ($11.60) in Burkina Faso. Across all studies, direct nonmedical costs were lowest for self-injecting women.


Community-based distribution and self-injection may be promising channels for reducing injectable contraception delivery costs. We observed no major differences in costs when administering DMPA-SC and DMPA-IM under the same strategy.


Designing interventions to bring contraceptive service delivery closer to women may reduce barriers to contraceptive access. Community-based distribution of injectable contraception reduces direct costs of service delivery. Compared to facility-based health worker administration, self-injection brings economic benefits for women and health systems, especially with a lower-cost client training aid.


Community-based distribution; Contraceptive service delivery costs; Costs; DMPA-SC; Injectable contraception; Self-injection

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