Ouagadougou Partnership member country representatives, partners, and stakeholders at the 3rd annual meeting in Paris, December 2014. Courtesy of Ouagadougou Partnership Coordination Unit
This year is an exciting one for celebrating contraceptive access in Francophone West Africa—2015 marks the fifth year since nine governments (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Togo, and Senegal), civil society organizations, and donors created the Ouagadougou Partnership and committed to improving family planning access in their region. Their goal is to add one million new contraceptive users by the end of this year.
Although countries may define a “new user” in different terms (for example, first-time user of family planning, new user of a long term method), the definition used by Track20 (a project implemented by Avenir Health to track progress of the global FP2020 initiative) is clear. New users include the number of additional women (or their partners) of reproductive age currently using a modern contraceptive method compared to 2012. In just three short years, these countries will have achieved their goal by providing vastly improved family planning information and access to an adequate contraceptive method mix.