In May of 2015, GMEF organized and provided a training with the Ministry of Health for 20 Bolivian physicians in the Tupiza area to learn about a new contraceptive option for women. Women in poor and remote areas around Tupiza who desire longer term contraception now have the option of a low-cost implant that safely delivers a low dose of progesterone to prevent pregnancy for up to 4 years. The physicians were given written material, shown videos, and practiced insertion and removal on mannequins before being led through supervised procedures with volunteer women from the area. During the initial 2 day training, 30 happy women left their local health centers with contraception intact and comprehensive information about any potential side effects in addition to when and where to go for any necessary follow-up care. Further, GMEF supplied each physician with additional implants and supplies to provide this option for many more women in their rural service area.
The Bolivian government is preparing to dispense these same implants through their Ministry of Health offices for free within the next few years, so GMEF is ahead of the curve by preparing doctors in rural areas to be able to use this implant. In the meantime, GMEF is donating implants for women to receive this contraception free of charge at rural clinics throughout Southern Bolivia.