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Last Updated: 2001-08-02 15:56:07 EDT (Reuters Health)
By Sanjay Kumar
VICTORIA FALLS, Zimbabwe (Reuters Health) – Partners in Population and Development (PPD), an alliance of 16 developing countries, will promote two injectable contraceptives produced by two of its member countries.
Balla Musa Silla, executive director of the alliance, told Reuters Health that the decision was made at the executive committee meeting of the PPD, which concluded here last weekend. Formed in 1994, PPD addresses problems of reproductive health and diseases of poverty in its member countries, which also include India, Egypt, Thailand, Zimbabwe, Morocco and others.
The two injectable contraceptives are Cyclofem, which is produced in Mexico, and Sinoplant, which is produced in China. Cyclofem has undergone multicentre clinical trials with World Health Organization collaboration, Silla said.
Sinoplant is a contraceptive similar to Norplant. But while Norplant involves the insertion of six rods, Sinoplant involves inserting only two rods, and its cost will be only US$1 to $3 compared with US$23 to $25 for Norplant, Dr. Halida Akhter of PPD told Reuters Health.
Besides these injectables, PPD will also promote misoprostol, produced in Mexico, which can be used by midwives and traditional birth attendants to treat women for postpartum haemorrhage as part of emergency obstetric care, Silla said.
An antimalarial is also being considered as a candidate for promotion among member countries, he added.
"Our endeavour is for more self-reliance of the [global] south, making sure that commodities for health are produced in the south and marketed in the south via bilateral agreements," Silla told Reuters Health at the Victoria Falls meeting.
"It does not mean all 16 countries will simultaneously take up these commodities, but I am confident at least close to 10 will adopt them," Silla noted.
Silla noted that adoption of products from developing countries would significantly reduce costs, especially when duties and taxes can be waived.
In India, massive opposition has been mounted by women's groups to injectable contraceptives like Norplant, Silla said. He commented that with the introduction of Sinoplant there, "the only thing [PPD] can do is to recommend that on the basis of expert review the product is safe, and share available information such as clinical trial data."
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