WASHINGTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The theme “full access, full choice” for the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) to be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this November urges global action to ensure that everyone, regardless of location and circumstance, has access to family planning services to meet their needs. DKT International (DKT), one of the largest private providers of family planning products and services and HIV prevention in the developing world, shows examples of how they provide full access and choice in Ethiopia and 18 other developing countries.
“Our social marketing of contraceptives and family planning services is highly cost-effective as it improves lives by using a self-sustaining financial model that benefits people at all socio-economic levels in the countries we serve”
“DKT’s teams of social impact entrepreneurs are transforming family planning in 19 developing countries,” said Christopher H. Purdy, Executive Vice President of DKT International. “DKT brings advances in family planning and sexual health to the developing world by providing contraceptive products that are attractively presented and sold at affordable prices through non-traditional commercial channels. Because these products and services are purchased, even at very low prices, they are far more likely to be used - and the marketing of contraceptives and family planning services is a highly cost-effective way of helping couples improve their lives.”
In 2012 DKT provided and sold 600 million condoms, more than 76 million cycles of oral contraceptives, 13 million injectable contraceptives, 1.6 million IUDs, and 16 million misoprostol pills. This effort prevented 8.2 million unwanted pregnancies, and delivered 25 million Couple Years of Protection for an average cost of $1.80.
DKT demonstrates practical strategies for achieving key messages of ICFP 2013:
Voluntary family planning provides enormous health and economic benefits to women, their partners and families, and is essential for building strong communities and nations.
DKT provides safe and affordable options for family planning and HIV prevention through social marketing and uses print, broadcast advertising, the Internet, branding and packaging to promote contraception and safe sex. This approach leverages the local commercial environment, with contraceptives promoted with positive, easily understood, and alluring messages. Differently priced brands within the same contraceptive product category are offered to maximize both health impact and cost-recovery. A subsidized condom brand is affordable to low-income consumers and a premium brand generates a modest profit. Even in poor countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Sudan and Ethiopia, some level of cost recovery is possible. Based on analysis of services and products delivered, in 2012 DKT cumulatively averted 14,000 maternal deaths, 77,000 child deaths and 1.7 million abortions, validating this approach to providing safe and affordable options for family planning.
More women and men around the world are gaining access to family planning options, thanks to growing political leadership and financial commitments.
DKT country directors work with national governments to shape policies that enhance the legal and procedural climate for birth control while upholding that country’s religious and social standards.
- DKT Indonesia was the catalyst to establish National Condom Week, together with the Ministry of Health, the National AIDS Commission and the National Family Planning Board.
- DKT Ghana received approval from the Ghana Food and Drugs Board to offer a full range of contraceptives and other reproductive health products.
- DKT Ethiopia was instrumental in securing legislative approval for the Ministry of Health and the Food & Drug Administration to legalize safe medical abortion (MA) drugs.
- DKT Brazil collaborated with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Industrial Affairs to reduce taxes and secure tax exemptions making male and female condoms more affordable.
Everyone, regardless of location and circumstance, needs access to family planning services and methods that meet their needs.
DKT International’s programs sell condoms and other contraceptives through a wide variety of distribution channels. These include: midwives, clinics, pharmacies, and grocery stores. Significant education about women’s health is provided through TV and radio advertising, billboards, concert and activity sponsorship. Country directors establish partnerships to leverage safe sex and family planning messages at venues where young people may gather.
“Our social marketing of contraceptives and family planning services is highly cost-effective as it improves lives by using a self-sustaining financial model that benefits people at all socio-economic levels in the countries we serve,” Purdy concluded. “We’ll continue to provide leadership in achieving ICFP’s goals.”