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Rationale, design, and cohort enrolment of a prospective observational study of the clinical performance of the new contraceptive implant (Femplant) in Pakistan

Authors Azmat SK, Hameed W, Lendvay A, Shaikh BT, Mustafa G, Siddiqui MA, Brohi S, Karim A, Ishaque M, Hussain W, Bilgrami M, Feldblum PJ

Received 28 November 2013

Accepted for publication 13 February 2014

Published 29 May 2014 Volume 2014:6 Pages 573—583


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Syed Khurram Azmat,1 Waqas Hameed,1 Anja Lendvay,2 Babar Tasneem Shaikh,3 Ghulam Mustafa,1 Muhammad Ahmed Siddiqui,1 Sajid Brohi,1 Asif Karim,1 Muhammad Ishaque,1 Wajahat Hussain,1 Mohsina Bilgrami,1 Paul J Feldblum2

1Research, Monitoring and Evaluation Department, Marie Stopes Society, Karachi, Pakistan; 2FHI 360, Durham, NC, USA; 3Health Services Academy, Islamabad, Pakistan

Introduction: The use of hormonal implants has gained positive traction in family planning programs in recent times. Compared to other popular methods, such as long-term reversible intrauterine devices, the use of hormonal implants as a family planning method has distinct advantages in terms of long-term efficiency and better user compliance and availability. This paper presents a study protocol to document and evaluate the efficacy, safety, and acceptability of Femplant (contraceptive implant) in Pakistan during the first year of its use among married women of reproductive age (18–44 years) at clinics in two provinces of Pakistan (Sindh and Punjab).
Materials and methods: A total of 724 married women were enrolled in a noncomparative prospective observational study. The study involved six government clinics from the Population Welfare Department in Sindh Province and 13 clinics run by the Marie Stopes Society (a local nongovernmental organization) in both provinces. The participation of women was subject to voluntary acceptance and medical eligibility. All respondents were interviewed at baseline and subsequently at each scheduled visit during the study period. Side effects, complications and adverse events, if any, were recorded for every participant at each visit to the facility.
Discussion: Over the next 5-year period (2013–2018), 27 million hormonal implants will be made available in lower- to middle-income countries by international donors and agencies. The evidence generated from this study will identify factors affecting the acceptability and satisfaction of end users with Femplant (Sino-implant II). This will help to guide policies to enhance access to and the use of long-acting contraceptive implants in Pakistan and similar developing countries.

Keywords: safety, efficacy, acceptability, implant, Femplant, contraception, family planning, Pakistan

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