Reaching Rural Populations with Family Planning in Ethiopia
DKT Ethiopia’s work to reach rural populations with family planning was highlighted recently in the Gates Foundation blog.
DKT visits weekly markets where people from the countryside villages come together to trade and socialize, to create a hub for family planning. On market days, DKT teams reach thousands of rural men and women with education and advice on family planning, and provide referrals to nearby health providers for both short term and long term contraceptive products. By targeting these market towns, DKT is able to gain access to hard-to-reach populations and provide more information and resources to individuals with unmet family planning needs.
It is this type of innovation that the 3rd International Conference on Family Planning in Addis Ababa will be highlighting this November. The conference acknowledges Ethiopia’s impressive increase in contraceptive prevalence rate over the past 10 years, a development aided in significant part by DKT’s 23-year-old program. DKT Ethiopia supplies 50% of the country’s condoms and accounts for around one-third of all contraceptive prevalence. Last year, DKT sold nearly 65 million condoms, 3.6 million cycles of oral contraceptives, 2.3 million injectable contraceptives, over 200,000 IUDs and over 135,000 medical abortion pills. The key message of the upcoming conference is ‘full access, full choice’, something that has propelled DKT’s innovation for decades.
Come meet us at our booth at the Exhibition Hall during the conference for an Ethiopian coffee ceremony!
Providing Safe Abortions
DKT markets and distributes medical abortion products and equipment in 13 programs worldwide and undertakes training related programming when needed. DKT was the first organization in India, for example, to run advertisements on national television about medical abortion. In Ethiopia and Ghana, DKT makes manual vacuum aspiration kits and medical abortion drugs widely available and affordable. In 2012, DKT provided 1.9 million safe abortion doses. At the same time, DKT prevented 2.6 million unsafe abortions by providing contraceptive resources to prevent pregnancy.
Reaching Commercial Sex Workers in Thailand
For two years, DKT Thailand has been promoting strategies to increase condom use among more than 2,300 commercial sex workers in 31 massage parlors nationwide. To do this, DKT provides education, condom negotiation skills and product information to sex workers. In addition, DKT uses a lucky draw, condom prize packs, and condom pack redemptions to encourage trial and use of its ‘Tango’ brand. These promotions have increased the use of Tango condoms by 28%.
Pleasure, Sex, and Condoms
In his recent blog in The Huffington Post, Phil Harvey advocates selling contraception with pleasurable sex. After The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation made headlines earlier this month calling for new condom designs to increase pleasure, the blog shares what has already been done by others to “make condoms sexier, more interesting, and even better tasting”. DKT International has been making condoms ‘fun’ and ‘cool’ for over two decades by manufacturing and selling different colors, tastes, and shapes in over 20 countries.
And the Award Goes To…
DKT recently honored a number of long serving DKT leaders with the following awards for service:
- The “DKT over the Hump” award for 5 years at DKT:
- Ashraf Fouad in Egypt, Yakup Aydogan in Turkey, and Todd Callahan in Indonesia
- The “Autonomous Survival Award” for 10 years:
- Sandra Gass in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Robert Padua in Thailand
- The “Intolerance of Bureaucracy” Award for 15 years:
- Daniel Marun in Brazil, Jimmy Cai in China, Chris Purdy and Michele Thorburn in Washington, DC.
The Phil Harvey “Benzocaine Award for Long-Lasting Performance” Award for 20+ years:
- Andy Piller in Ethiopia and Phil Harvey himself