Access to safe and effective contraceptives, medicines and equipment
UNFPA places a high priority on reproductive health commodity security, which means that all individuals have access to affordable, quality sexual and reproductive health supplies of their choice whenever they need them.
UNFPA is committed to procuring quality RH products and therefore evaluates and prequalifies suppliers based on internationally recognized quality standards before entering into any contractual agreements.
UNFPA quality assurance activities follow a systematic process to ensure that RH products meet specified requirements and standards. Quality assurance activities include prequalification, technical evaluations, quality control, and monitoring. Quality control refers to a set of activities to determine whether the specified standards are being maintained through inspection, sampling, and laboratory testing.
Read more about UNFPA quality assurance processes:
UNFPA conducts capacity building activities related to quality assurance with the overall goal of intensifying demand, access and utilization of reproductive health products. Such activities are critical to ensure protection to end-users of UNFPA commodities and to widen the supplier base to UNFPA to geographical regions. This is reflected in the form of technical support, advice, and mentoring activities to key stakeholders in the lifecycle of the commodities such as manufacturers, national regulatory authorities, national quality control laboratories and other similar bodies.
An example of a capacity building activity carried out by UNFPA is conducting regional workshops in conjunction with WHO and FHI 360 on laboratory quality control for RH Products. The purpose of these workshops is to review and discuss best practices in laboratory management, which includes accreditation, sampling, testing protocols and procedures to ensure the quality of reproductive health commodities.
There is also an opportunity for countries that have participated in the regional workshops to receive on-site training within their laboratories to build upon the concepts introduced during the regional workshops.
UNFPA is also available to provide capacity building support in regards to quality assurance to third parties upon request. Examples of such support include consultation on quality assurance issues, training, and policy development.