Policies and Guidelines

Syringe and 1ml vial of Depo-Provera ® contraceptive injection. © 2003 David Alexander, Courtesy of PhotoshareMany facets of health policy affect access to family planning services, including contraceptive pricing, security, funding, distribution, availability, and eligibility. In turn, access to quality family planning services and to a range of contraceptive options, including injectable contraceptives, affects a country profoundly by:

  • Influencing the country’s rates of maternal and child morbidity and mortality
  • Rates of mother-to-child transmission of HIV
  • Gender equity and related social norms
  • Economic state
Despite the critical role of policy in meeting populations’ contraceptive needs, outdated health policies and guidelines, provider bias, and a lack of knowledge about current medical eligibility requirements for injectable contraceptive use are common barriers to contraceptive access in many parts of the world. 
Countries establish service delivery policies and guidelines on the provision and use of contraceptive methods to help programs and service providers provide contraceptives safely and effectively. The Policies & Guidelines section of the Injectables Toolkit provides the most recent international guidelines and recommendations from the World Health Organization related to family planning, including guidance specific to injectable contraceptives. Guidance documents from other international and national sources are also included. Programs can use these resources as a reference when periodically updating their own national guidelines.
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