Time series study of the sales of non-subsidised contraceptives in Kenya at times of public sector shortage: implications for future sustainability

Peter N Stephens, Sharique Alam


This paper describes volume trends of non-subsidised contraceptive commodities (NSCC) in Kenya between 2016-2019. We hypothesise that if non-subsidised contraceptive commodities volumes increased at times of public sector shortage then then we might hope for a similar response should public sector supplies reduce in response to an expected decline in donor funding. We find that non-subsidised contraceptive commodities contribute only 2% of total volume, and that these volumes are dominated by emergency contraceptives (EC) and combined oral contraceptives (COC). EC and COC volumes increased significantly during the 2017 nurses’ strike, but not during those periods when the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) was out of stock. Increases in NSCC volumes were not of sufficient size, however, to compensate for the decline in public sector volumes. In short it appears that the market for NSCC is small and constrained. We recommend that further research is needed to understand why distributors of NSCCs are not able to take advantage of continuing public sector supply shortages. (Afr J Reprod Health 2021; 25[3]: 14-20).

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