Evaluation of emergency contraceptive pill use with health management information systems data in Pakistan

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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According to the WHO, all clients should have access to a range of contraceptive methods, including at least one short-term, one long-term, one permanent, and one emergency method of contraception. While there are data on the contraceptive method mix available for many low- and middle-income countries, there are limited data on emergency contraception (EC). This is likely due to some surveys not routinely collecting this information, how survey questions are asked, dual method use, and/or low levels of reported use of EC pill (ECP). Even with low reported use in surveys, contraceptive social marketing statistics from DKT International. show a trend in recent years of increasing product sales of ECPs. To understand a more complete scope of ECP use, we use Pakistan as a case study and analyze Pakistan's Demographic Health Survey (DHS) surveys and Pakistan's Contraceptives Logistics Management Systems. Based on commodities dispensed data for ECPs in 2021, about 0.4 percent of all married women in Pakistan use ECPs. While there is currently a small proportion of women, it is growing and the use of ECPs is not zero as indicated by the DHS. Therefore, where available, countries should review their health management information systems data alongside survey data for ECP use.