Breastfeeding provides effective contraception for new mothers. However, with the introduction of other food into the infant's diet, the contraceptive protection of breastfeeding decreases. That is the moment a woman needs safe alternatives that do not interfere with successfully breastfeeding her child to avoid unintended pregnancy.

In recent years the Population Council developed a hormonal contraceptive vaginal ring. The technology is new and based on a silicone rubber ring, which slowly releases progesterone, which in turn regulates the women's fertility. Not only is its use easy and reversible, it also promotes spacing between children and thereby improves maternal and newborn health (MDGs 4 and 5). The progesterone vaginal ring is expected to become a very popular contraceptive method for use by lactating women in sub-Saharan Africa.

Because of its extensive experience with procurement and supply management of health commodities, complemented by its expertise in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, ResultsinHealth was asked by the Population Council to assess the procurement systems for reproductive health supplies in 3 sub-Saharan African pilot countries: Kenya, Senegal and Nigeria. The assessment is part of the pre-introductory activities in these three countries. It intends to provide the Population Council with key information to assist global and national policy makers to effectively register and efficiently procure the progesterone vaginal ring. The assessment has taken off and outcomes are expected to be handed over to the Population Council before the end of the year.