Context: Most women in Ghana obtain oral contraceptives and condoms from shops run by licensed chemical sellers, but such shops are not legally permitted to sell the country's most widely used method, the injectable. Allowing shops to sell the injectable could increase access to and use of the method.
Methods: In 2012-2013, semistructured telephone interviews were conducted among convenience samples of 94 licensed chemical seller shop operators in two districts who were trained to sell the injectable and of 298 women who purchased the method from these shops. Follow-up interviews were conducted with 92 clients approximately three months after their initial injectable purchase.
Results: Ninety-seven percent of shop operators reported selling the injectable, and 94% felt sufficiently trained to provide family planning methods and services. Virtually all sellers (99%) referred clients to a hospital or health facility for injection; none provided injections themselves. Fifty-six percent of injectable clients were new family planning users. Of those who completed a follow-up interview, 79% had purchased the injectable again from a shop. Virtually all clients (97%) reported getting their injection at the health facility to which they were referred by the seller. Women cited trust, convenience and commodities being in stock as key reasons for purchasing from a shop.
Conclusion: Licensed chemical seller shop operators can safely sell the injectable and refer clients to health facilities for screening, counseling and injection.