Pakistan has the sixth largest population of any country in the world. If the current rate of growth continues, the population will double by 2050, and only India, China, the United States and Indonesia will be bigger. Although its birth rate has been falling, the total fertility rate is still 4.1 children per woman of reproductive age. Although fertility has declined on a national level, it has remained largely unchanged for poor women and women living in rural areas. Maternal mortality remains high at around 276 deaths per 100,000 live births.
In April 2012, DKT International established a program in Pakistan with its own funding. Since then, DKT Pakistan has hired key staff, registered with the Government of Pakistan, built partnerships with national and local governments and received the authorization to begin providing family planning and reproductive health services. In particular, the partnerships involve the Ministry of Health and the Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Program of the government of Sindh.
DKT Pakistan has identified and begun the steps necessary to reach Pakistani couples and the more than 6 million women (24% of married women of reproductive age) with unmet needs for contraception, which will enable customers and health providers to have more choices for high quality products with regular access to family planning training and education.
Through this program, DKT will address two particular obstacles in expanding contraceptive availability. First, DKT will address supply-side barriers, especially in rural ares where there are few providers and outlets for family planning products. Second, DKT will address the lack of trained mid-level providers of family planning and reproductive health, such as community midwives, lady health workers and lady health visitors.
DKT Pakistan’s program called Dhanak will address problems of supply and demand that have kept Pakistan’s contraceptive prevalence rate lower than its neighbors, with a focus on rural areas. It will emphasize long-term methods (such as IUDs), adding diversity to a method mix that is heavily dependent on short-term contraceptives (such as injectables).
DKT Pakistan started sales in November of 2012, and in its first full year of sales in 2013, DKT Pakistan sold over 4 million condoms and 28,000 IUDs. These figures translate to 283,562 CYPs, and offer a glimpse of the exciting future for DKT’s programming in Pakistan.
For more information, please contact our country director. You can find their information here.