Venture Strategies for Health and Development works towards stabilizing global population by securing women’s freedom to choose their family size. We invite you to visit one or both of our main programs: Optio and The OASIS Initiative.
Optio aims to improve the reproductive health options of women around the world. Through harm reduction strategies and advocacy for policy change, we empower women with the knowledge and tools needed to control their fertility and improve their reproductive health.
The OASIS Initiative aims to help accelerate a demographic transition in the Sahel region of Africa. Our three pillars are: educate and empower adolescent girls, expand access to voluntary family planning, and adapt agriculture to climate change.
Past Work: Misoprostol
In 2008, VSHD established Venture Strategies Innovations (VSI), an independent organization with a mission to create access to effective and affordable maternal and reproductive health medicines and services that have the potential for large-scale impact. Since the beginning, VSI's programs principally focused on the introduction and integration into health systems of misoprostol for maternal and reproductive health, including the management of postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) and treatment of incomplete abortion and miscarriage, and to misoprostol and mifepristone for the safe termination of pregnancy. In many countries in Africa and Asia, VSI's work has resulted in national-level successes in creating and expanding access to misoprostol and mifepristone, and to the improvement of key maternal health services such as postabortion care.
VSI's model had three components: 1) achieving regulatory approval of quality reproductive and maternal health products; 2) evaluating innovative distribution and service delivery strategies to increase access for hard-to-reach populations and incorporating the product's use into policies and practices, and 3) improving product availability. Collaborating with local and international partners, VSI worked to identify and overcome challenges to integrate essential medicines and services into national public health systems, thus reaching women and communities with the greatest need.
Their work was quite successful, and coupled with the efforts of so many NGOs, international organizations and donors, misoprostol is now registered and available for obstetric indications in more than 30 countries globally. With misoprostol now broadly accepted and increasingly available for women's health, VSI achieved its aims of registering and supporting the mainstreaming of misoprostol, at which point they determined that their mission had been fulfilled. In 2015, VSI formally closed as a nonprofit organization, transferring its extensive resources and technical expertise back to Venture Strategies for Health and Development and to the University of California, Berkeley, Bixby Center for Population, Health and Sustainability, where some of the early research began on the viability of introducing misoprostol for obstetrics.