Management Sciences for Health, (MSH), Gynuity and VillageReach are among five organisations that have received about half a million dollars in grants from the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RSHC) for various projects in support of reproductive health.
The director of Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC), John Skibiak, announced the wins at the 18th General Membership Meeting of RHSC in Brussels, Belgium, which included William and Davidson Research Institute and WoMena Uganda.
Gynuity, a coalition member “which proposed a new methodology that the maternal health caucus is very interested in,” according to Skibiak, received the most sum – $150,204 – for its project on oral antihypertensive therapy. The project is considered as a pathway to efficiently reduce maternal complications from severe hypertension in low resource environments. “It is a new technology that the maternal health caucus is interested in and so support was given to it,” said Skibiak.
The MSH, an organisation working with countries and communities to save lives and improve the health of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, received $104,178 to introduce oxytocin into the Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) which is a vaccine cold chain.
According to the RHSC boss, “it is a timely recommendation that came out of recent meetings among advocacy groups on oxytocin, the uterotonic to prevent post-partum haemorrhage.”
William Davidson Institute, (WDI) an independent, non-profit education, research and applied practice organisation at the University of Michigan, won $64,946 for their project to analyse the private sector reproductive health supplies distributor landscape.
VillageReach, a Seattle-based organisation, with a goal to improve the capacity and reach of health systems in remote, rural low-income countries was awarded $50, 000.
WoMena Uganda, an NGO working with implementation of reproductive health solutions in low-income contexts, focusing on menstrual health and management, received $40,000 for their menstrual cup initiative.
Skibiak said WoMena’s project “is an activity supported by the RHSC in an innovation fund grant. We wanted to introduce it not only into Uganda but also to explore different strategies for marketing the product. The project was trying to make the product available to upscale pharmacies and have it subsidized for poorer users.”
Speaking on the characteristics each one had that gave it an upper hand over other submissions, Skibiak said, “What made them all successful proposals broadly speaking was that they were very supportive of key priorities within the coalition as a whole.”
According to him, “This is against past entries where organisations put in proposals that were of interest to them and they see our innovation as just a way of getting money and so the proposals are provided to us, not necessarily because they are furthering the agenda of the coalition but rather their own institution. These support the work of the coalition and our strategic objectives.”
One proposal which stood out is a simpler methodology for costing supply chains unlike others that require one to go and count and cost out every aspect of a warehouse facility which is time consuming and very involving.
This new methodology allows for the use of proxy data if specific data for a commodity is unavailable. “Also, if it works out well could represent huge savings in time and efforts. It is very much related to the work we are doing in the coalition right now in terms of costing, he further explained.