AccessRH supports the International AIDS Conference 2014

The International AIDS Conference is the premier gathering for those working in the field of HIV, as well as policy makers, persons living with HIV and other individuals committed to ending the pandemic.

The AIDS 2014 programme will present new scientific knowledge and offer many opportunities for structured dialogue on the major issues facing the global response to HIV. The conference give us a chance to assess where we are, evaluate recent scientific developments and lessons learnt, and collectively chart a course forward. 

On this 20th International AIDS Conference, UNFPA’s AccessRH supports this year’s efforts in Stepping up the Pace. By improving access to life saving commodities, AccessRH helps to support numerous stakeholder’s efforts to Step up the Pace.

Key Figures

  • UNFPA’s AccessRH procurement service procured over 260 million condoms to South Africa in 2013 alone.

AccessRH Celebrates World Population Day

On this World Population Day, UNFPA is fully committed to supporting all efforts to promote young people’s aspirations and to place young people at the very heart of national and global development efforts.

Today’s 1.8 billion young people are a powerful force, individually and collectively. They are shaping social and economic realities, challenging norms and values and building the foundation of the world’s future. 

Governments and the international community are increasingly conscious of the importance of providing resources and opportunities for all young people to reach their full potential as individuals and citizens.  They recognize that investing in young people and enabling them to exercise their human rights not only benefits young people themselves, but can also help their countries reap a demographic dividend. 


UNFPA and World Bank Group simplify procurement of reproductive health supplies

UNFPA recently reached a new agreement with the World Bank Group (WBG) that will make it easier for WBG borrowers to procure reproductive health supplies through UNFPA’s AccessRH service. The agreement comes as part of a coordinated effort to step up support to developing countries to improve women’s health in the countdown to reach the Millennium Development Goals by the end of 2015. 

The new agreement is a result of an ongoing partnership between the World Bank Group and UNFPA to advance women’s health. It has dramatically simplified the procurement process that countries have to undertake under World Bank Group-financed projects, as well as streamlined invoicing, billing, and financial reporting.

"The beauty of this new agreement is that it is no longer using World Bank-specific ordering, invoicing and payment systems. The countries can now review specifications and select reproductive health supplies from UNFPA’s online Catalog to place their orders. The process is the same irrespective of whether the funding comes from the World Bank or public budget," said Christopher Browne, Chief Procurement Officer of the World Bank Group. “This is an important step in facilitating achievement of health and development outcomes and working toward seamless partnerships that ultimately benefit our clients and people who use these health supplies.”

Under the new agreement, the countries can place individual orders using UNFPA’s online procurement portal,, in accordance with the time schedule set in the project's procurement plan. UNFPA reviews and quotes a fixed price for the ordered items. The exact amount is then transferred from the project account within 30 days for UNFPA to commence procurement.

"This arrangement can benefit a broad range of countries," said Eric Dupont, UNFPA Chief of Procurement. "Smaller countries that cannot access quality assured or competitively priced goods; governments that don't have enough staff to conduct timely procurement; and countries that need to fill supply gaps while they are conducting a local bidding process -- all can benefit. What we hear most is that AccessRH saves time and money, and, most importantly, ensures the safety and efficacy of much-needed reproductive health supplies."

The simplified and automated ordering system will help countries with timely re-stocking of reproductive health supplies.

Over 100 organisations have partnered with AccessRH to provide life-saving supplies

Since the beginning of 2011, more than 100 non-profit organisations from over 70 countries around the world have partnered with AccessRH to provide life-saving reproductive health related supplies.

The majority of AccessRH clients are Ministries of Health and other governmental institutions from low and middle income countries, but local and international NGOs account for a increasing proportion.

To date, AccessRH has enabled the delivery of approximately 57 million USD worth of reproductive health supplies. Through our collaboration, we are helping make critical RH supplies more accessible around the world.

The map below illustrates the more than 70 countries where AccessRH clients are located. 

AccessRH clients are located in more than 70 countries around the world

Delivering products faster to those in need - Fistula repair kits available from stock

Contents of the fistula repair kit 1

Long delivery times are one of the key challenges that organisations face when providing reproductive health supplies. This is partly because production and packaging of large amounts of items can often take several months, often combined with lengthy transportation times. 

The AccessRH approach to this challenge is working together with manufacturers who, on UNFPA’s behalf, keep certain key contraceptives in stock and ready for shipment. 

This inventory approach has been applied to standard 53 mm male condoms for many years. The lead time for these condoms has been approximately three months shorter compared to situations where condom production was started at the time of the order placement. 

Since 2012, UNFPA has broadened the variety of contraceptive methods in stock. In addition to standard male condoms, these items currently include female condoms, oral contraceptives, IUDs, emergency reproductive health kits, and starting from November 2013, two different types of fistula repair kits.

Kits provide equipment for safe fistula repair

Two complementary fistula repair kits were developed last year in collaboration with expert fistula surgeons around the world. The kits, which each include dozens of different items, are designed to provide the necessary materials for performing surgical repairs of fistula. The components of both kits can also be ordered separately.

  • Kit 1 includes all necessary medical instruments to do one fistula repair. The equipment can be sterilized and reused.
  • Kit 2 is comprised of supplementary medical supplies to provide 20 fistula repairs and post-operative care. It includes materials that a fistula surgeon needs, yet which may not be readily available in all contexts.

Contents of fistula repair kit 2

If your organisation is in need of fistula repair kits, the first step is to see the detailed descriptions of the kit contents in the AccessRH Product Catalog, under the heading Medical kits. The how to order page provides further instructions on the order process.

UNFPA estimates that ordering these pre-packed and pre-inspected fistula repair kits from stock may save approximately 10-12 weeks of lead time. Depending on the method of transportation used to transport the goods from the manufacturer, it will take 2 to 4 weeks for fistula kits to be ready for delivery at the manufacturer’s premises (2-3 weeks if delivered by air and to 3-4 weeks if shipped by sea).

Under normal circumstances compiling the kits takes approximately 14 weeks, with an additional week required for sampling and inspection. The kits held in stock have already been through the sampling and inspection process to ensure high quality.

The lead time calculator will provide you with a country-specific estimated lead time. 

Find out more about obstetric fistula.

Procurement eLearning module available for governments and NGOs

UNFPA’s Global Programme has published an online learning module about procurement. This introductory training is free of charge and available to governments and other external partners working with UNFPA, such as NGOs. 

The Introduction to Procurement eLearning module is currently available in English, French, Russian, Portuguese and Spanish. After successfully completing the course, the site will generate a certificate for the user.

The Learning Zone requires registration, so to gain access, please contact your local UNFPA country office and provide the following information: your full name, organization (no acronyms), division if applicable, and e-mail address. If your country is not part of the Programme, contact us at

UNFPA's Global Programme to enhance Reproductive Health Commodity Security (GPRHCS) delivers assistance, including capacity building, related to reproductive health systems and supplies.

This eLearning course is part of the Programme’s capacity building initiatives. A course about ethics in procurement will be launched in the near future.

If you want to know more about capacity building in procurement or supply chain management, please write to

Watch our new videos to see how AccessRH helps to increase access to family planning

Watch the stories of three AccessRH clients to learn how we’ve worked together in Benin, El Salvador and the Philippines to ensure the availability of high quality, affordable contraceptives.

To date, more than 100 NGOs and governments in over 70 countries have partnered with AccessRH to provide supplies for increasing access to family planning. 

Learn more about who AccessRH clients are.




New procurement tools now online

Three new AccessRH tools are now available for use: an updated interactive product catalog, a budget planner, and a lead time calculator. Registered website users can utilize these tools for efficient procurement planning.

Up-to-date product details in the interactive catalog

The AccessRH product catalog contains contraceptives, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and kits related to reproductive health. Hundreds of products are listed by category and sub-category, along with specifications, product images, estimated prices, and other useful details.

The catalog is updated on an on-going basis, providing the most recent information regarding new products as well as up to date pricing information. The previous pdf version of the catalog is no longer in use, but customized pdf versions can be created with the new catalog tool. All catalog products are also included in the budget planner and lead time calculator.

Estimate procurement costs with the budget planner

The AccessRH budget planning tool makes estimating the costs of your procurement order easier. The cost includes the selected reproductive health items, obligatory insurance, pre-shipment sampling, testing or inspection (obligatory for certain products), and a 5% fee to cover administrative costs for non-UNFPA clients. All prices are given in US dollars.

The price does not include freight costs, as this varies greatly depending on destination and mode of shipment. Customized artwork and printing will also impact the price.

Calculate the lead time for your order

The new lead time calculator tool helps to estimate how long it will take for your order to arrive. The tool will provide an average, product-specific estimate that includes the time (in weeks) required for order processing, product manufacturing, pre-shipment sampling, testing and inspection (if required), and transportation to port of arrival or airport. It does not include the time required to process customized artwork and printing, customs clearance or in-country distribution.  

Please note that the budget and lead time tools only provide estimates. The final costs and lead time will always be defined in the pro forma invoice. Please contact your UNFPA focal point for more information.

Register to gain full access to all tools

Sign in or register to gain access to full product details, including pictures. The product catalog can be browsed without registering, but registered users will have more visibility into product details, including images of the items.

If you are a UNFPA employee processing internal orders, please log in using your MyUNFPA login credentials.

Focusing on adolescent pregnancy - World Population Day 2013

An estimated 16 million girls under age 18 give birth each year. Another 3.2 million undergo unsafe abortions. Pregnancy complications are the leading death cause of adolescent girls every year across developing countries. World Population Day on July 11 focuses on the situation of these vulnerable young women.

Far too many of the teenage girls who give birth each year never had the opportunity to plan their pregnancy. Adolescent girls have limited access to and use of contraception. In developing countries overall, 22 per cent of adolescent girls (aged 15-19) who are married or in union use contraceptives, compared to 61 per cent of married girls and women aged 15-49.

Complications from pregnancy and childbirth can cause grave disabilities, such as obstetric fistula. Adolescent girls also face high levels of illness, injury and death due to unsafe abortion.

Adolescent pregnancy is not just a health issue; it is also a human rights issue and a development issue. It frequently means an abrupt end of childhood, curtailed education, constrained life options and lost opportunities. This often has a grave impact on the girls themselves, their children and the societies they live in.

World Population Day calls attention to the importance of providing all adolescents access to education, information and services related to sexuality and reproductive health. Voluntary access to high-quality family planning information, services and supplies is a critical component in this comprehensive strategy. Find out more on the UNFPA site.

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula

International Day to End Obstetric Fistula - Repair Kits Enable Proper Treatment

Obstetric fistula is one of the most serious injuries of childbirth. It is also a seriously neglected health and human rights issue that could be eliminated by ensuring adequate access to health care.May 23, 2013 marks the first-ever International Day to End Obstetric Fistula.

Obstetric fistula is caused by prolonged, obstructed labour due to the lack of timely and adequate medical care. In most cases, the baby is either stillborn or dies within the first week of life, and the woman suffers a devastating injury, a fistula, that renders her incontinent. Many women and girls with fistula find themselves trapped in poverty because they are excluded from community life, denied livelihood opportunities, and abandoned by their husbands and families.

Major gaps in access to treatment

Fistula is preventable and, in most cases, can be surgically repaired. With skilled attendance at birth and timely access to emergency obstetric care, fistula could become as rare as it is in the industrialized nations, where it is virtually eliminated.

In the developing world, an estimated 2 to 3 million women and girls still live with fistula. More than 50,000 new cases develop each year. This is largely due to major gaps that exist in access to treatment. The Global Fistula Care Map, launched in 2012 by Direct Relief International, UNFPA and the Fistula Foundation, starkly demonstrates that only a fraction of patients with obstetric fistula receive treatment.

Kits provide equipment for safe fistula repair

Last year, UNFPA collaborated with expert fistula surgeons around the world to develop two complementary fistula repair kits. The kits are designed to provide the necessary materials for performing surgical repairs of fistula. The components of both kits can also be ordered separately.

Kit 1 includes all necessary medical instruments to do one fistula repair. The equipment can be sterilized and reused.  Kit 2 is comprised of supplementary medical supplies to provide 20 fistula repairs and post-operative care.It includes materials that a fistula surgeon needs, yet which may not be readily available in all contexts. Browse the AccessRH Product Catalog to find out more.

Increasing access to these kits can help restore the health and dignity of women and girls affected by fistula.To learn more about what is being done both globally and locally to prevent fistula, read about the Campaign to End Fistula, a collaborative initiative launched by UNFPAand partners to address this devastating but preventable condition.

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