African Forum on Emergency Contraception
Forum African Sur La Contraception D’Urgence
Population Council, PO Box 17643, 00500 Nairobi,
+254 (0) 20 271-3480 Tel
+254 (0) 271-3479 Fax
ECafrique is a bilingual, international network
of health care and business processionals seeking to expand the
availability of quality emergency contraception (EC) services in
Africa. The network functions as a non-political, voluntary association,
guided by consensus among members, and mindful of African’s broad
ethnic, cultural, and political diversity. Its goals are to:
Serve as a forum for the
exchange of ideas among professionals in the health care and pharmaceutical
sectors, researchers, and development specialists, engaged in efforts
to expand quality EC services in Africa.
Inspire interest and encourage
new initiatives in the provision of EC services in countries where
there is an unmet need for them.
Build collectively the knowledge
and experience base needed to introduce, improve, and mainstream
the delivery of quality EC services, with a specific focus on the
needs and challenges of Africa.
established to help health care professionals address the unique
challenges associated with introducing, delivering, and mainstreaming
quality EC services in Africa.
As in the rest of the world,
history, culture, and economics have left their mark on the content
and shape of EC services on this continent. Africa’s colonial legacy,
for example, has forged a linguistic divide that, to this day, impedes
the flow of knowledge between east and west. Africa’s religious
diversity has also contributed, in no small part, to often divergent
attitudes regarding contraception, reproductive rights, gender equity,
and indeed sexuality itself. In the area of health care, the overwhelming
dominance of the public sector continues to determine such factors
as commodity provision and the allocation of resources for research
and service delivery support. And finally, at a more basic level,
the low prevalence of routine contraception and the rapid spread
of HIV/AIDS have forced planners everywhere to think carefully about
EC and its proper role within the service delivery system.
While it is true that many of
the concerns associated with EC are common across all regions, many
of them are not. And in those cases, researchers and practitioners
have benefited enormously from sharing ideas and experiences with
those confronting the same challenges. ECafrique was established
to facilitate that sharing process.
Foster dialogue within the health
community on a broad range of issues relating to the introduction,
delivery and mainstreaming of EC activities.
Facilitate intra-regional collaboration
on behalf of efforts to develop and evaluate practical tools and
research related to the delivery and mainstreaming of EC services.
Regularize the use of EC within
national health care systems and promote its incorporation into
relevant technical and service delivery guidelines.
Support commercial and/or social
marketing initiatives to distribute EC wherever appropriate.
Serve as a resource registry
of individuals and institutions, able to provide technical assistance
in support of efforts to introduce or mainstream EC services in
Serve as a recognized and respected
source of accurate, up-to-date information on all forms of EC.
Make more accessible, research
findings and other information on EC, either from outside Africa
or from sources published in languages not readily understood by
anglophone or francophone audiences.
Link network partners and members
with other EC networks and groups.
To realize these objectives,
ECafrique publishes a quarterly newsletter on EC-related
activities in Africa. It uses appropriate electronic media to foster
dialogue on EC and, when requested by members, it prepares responses
to the dissemination of inaccurate or biased information. Other
activities include the dissemination of existing service delivery
tools and the development of new resource materials for improving
and expanding the delivery of quality EC services.
ECafrique draws its membership
from professionals in the governmental, non-governmental, and private
sectors. Its members include interested individuals, as well as
representatives of ministries of health, the pharmaceutical industry,
and the international development community.
ECafrique and its activities
are made possible by the generous financial support of the William
and Flora Hewlett Foundation.