Nearly two decades after the government embarked on an ambitious birth control program, Mexico is becoming a model for family planning in developing countries. From 1973 to the present, Mexico’s annual growth rate fell from 3.2 to 2.2 percent, and now more than half of all Mexican women of childbearing age use some form of birth control.
But as many as 60 percent of women receiving state-sponsored birth control devices do so secretly because their husbands believe it might diminish their manhood or promote infidelity. In addition, state family planning programs face the challenge of reaching the 40 percent of Mexico’s population who are poor and live in rural villages.
Building on its successful program in Brazil, DKT began its program in Mexico at the end of 2003 by introducing a line of affordable scented and colored condoms under the Prudence brand name. They were followed by oral contraceptives and injectables in the second year of the program.
“In Mexico, DKT is focusing on sustainability through a no-nonsense approach that has more in common with profit-driven business than charity. DKT Mexico Country Director Karina de la Vega says there is no silver bullet to achieving financial sustainability, but requires such things as improved strategic planning, business administration and teamwork. Her first order of business when she took over in 2011 was increasing revenues and strengthening business practices to make the organization more efficient.”
Despite Mexico’s success in lowering its birthrate, there still is a strong need for DKT’s program. Private companies have a strong contraceptive presence in the marketplace, but many of their brands are too expensive for the poor and do not reach those villagers who need them most. Currently, DKT’s program works with distributors that stock supermarkets, drugstores, and wholesalers.
In September 2012, DKT Mexico held its first major concert, Prudence Fest, to popularize condoms — and particularly its Prudence brand — among its target audience of young adults at the Pepsi Center in Mexico City. Featuring the rock, electro and ska music so loved by young people, the concert attracted 7,100 music fans. DKT used traditional media (newspaper and magazines) and social media (Twitter, Facebook and YouTube) supplemented by online TV and magazines. The concert was a tremendous success, resulting in many videos posted to YouTube, reams of media coverage and an increase to 15,000 Facebook fans and 2,000 followers on Twitter. DKT Mexico estimates that 1 million people were reached through the internet. See photos of Prudence Fest here.
In 2012, DKT’s program sold over 15 million condoms. This translates into 152,418 couple years of protection.
For more information:
Director: Karina de la Vega
Address: S.A. de C.V. Bosque de Ciruelos #160 P.H. 2, Colonia Bosque de las Lomas, Mexico, D.F. 11700
DKT Mexico website: www.prudence.com.mx
Prudence condom website: http://www.prudence.com.mx/
Facebook: Condones Prudence
Twitter: @prudencemexico and @DejaKTcuidemos
Prudence Blog: http://www.condonesprudence.blogspot.com/