14 Nov 2018


We are pleased to announce that CIFF is launching Phase Two funding for In Their Hands and a new partnership with the Population Council.

Today at the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) in Kigali, Rwanda, CIFF Executive Director for Adolescence Miles Kemplay announced CIFF’s $14.6M commitment to In Their Hands, supporting its multi-country expansion, working towards providing 300,000 adolescent girls per year with sexual health services and contraception access by 2021. This funding builds on CIFF’s existing $14.9M programme with In Their Hands, which provides a digital platform for adolescent girls, so they can access sexual health services on their terms, holding providers accountable to quality and creating an environment where girls are fully supported to make their own decisions.

CIFF is also investing in Population Council to determine the feasibility of combining oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV and oral contraceptives into one pill.

CIFF’s Executive Director for Adolescence Miles Kemplay said: ‘CIFF’s renewed funding for In Their Hands and new partnership with Population Council demonstrates our commitment to broadening access to sexual health products that are relevant to adolescent girls through channels that appeal to them. These investments stress the importance of convenience and accessibility for empowering girls to make their own decisions about their sexual health.’

In Their Hands

Only one in ten adolescent girls (15-19 years of age) in Kenya use any contraceptive method, and one in six Kenyan teenagers are mothers. There is evidence that a combination of educational and contraceptive-promoting interventions can lower the risk of unintended pregnancy by 66%.

In Their Hands delivers these interventions using girl-centred design, payments based on actual services delivered, and real-time data for decision-making. In its first year of operation, In Their Hands enrolled 125,000 girls with a high risk of unplanned pregnancy, 89,000 of whom accessed contraception or sexual health services.

CIFF’s renewed commitment and $14.6M Phase Two funding will support In Their Hands in reaching 100,000 new clients, reaching 300,000 girls each year by 2021.This second phase will help to scale up In Their Hands, which will attract the co-funding needed for multi-country expansion from 2020/21. The long-term goal is for this programme to be low-cost, sustainable, and easily accessible in multiple countries.

CIFF and Population Council

Every week, 15,000 young women and adolescent girls are infected with HIV. Addressing this challenge requires equipping them with new innovations that make HIV prevention easy, convenient and woman-controlled.

PrEP has not yet proven itself convenient enough for young women and adolescent girls due to a variety of factors. Young women and adolescent girls have struggled with regularly taking a PrEP pill every day; their perceived risk of infection fluctuates over time and explaining to their partners and families why they want to take PrEP can be difficult and stigmatising. In the face of these challenges, adolescent girls and young women are not sticking with PrEP. Yet millions of young women and adolescent girls in countries with the highest HIV prevalence are already habitually taking a daily pill – the contraceptive pill. Capitalising on a pre-existing habit by combining PrEP with a contraception pill could massively increase sustained and successful HIV-prevention.

Partnering with Population Council on exploratory work to determine product and market feasibility of a combined contraceptive and HIV-prevention pill is a critical first step to successfully developing and launching a dual pill that meets the needs of adolescent girls and young women.

‘We are excited to partner with CIFF to understand the market and regulatory and technical challenges required to bring such a needed product to market,’ said Jim Sailer, Executive Director of the Center for Biomedical Research at the Population Council. ‘Adolescent girls and women deserve a range of options to meet their sexual and reproductive health needs, and this contraceptive HIV prevention product would be an exciting advance in the field of global health.’