Understanding the impact of contraceptive stockouts in Uganda

September 2015

In partnership with the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition, we are excited to conduct a study that will generate data on the impact of stockouts on women and communities in Uganda. A contraceptive stockout is a time when someone seeking a chosen method of contraception cannot obtain it because the inventory is sold out at his or her pharmacy or provider.

Last year, we began this work with a literature review on the prevalence and impact of contraceptive stockouts. This analysis found that although contraceptive stockouts are noted as a barrier to women seeking contraceptives and are documented as a problem in a number of countries, there is a lack of research on the prevalence and impacts of contraceptive stockouts on women.

With help from two research partners at Mbarara University in Uganda, we are conducting focus groups with women to produce new information on women's experiences and the impact of stockouts on their lives. We are also performing in-depth interviews with health care providers and policymakers to understand their knowledge of and concern about the impact of stockouts and their perception of their ability to influence the issue. Once we complete data collection and analysis, we hope that our findings will inform a larger, prospective study to assess the frequency and impact of contraceptive stockouts in Uganda and potentially other settings. This research will begin to fill a critical gap in the evidence on how this issue affects women and their ability to access contraception. You can keep up with this research as it develops on the project page.