Individually, West African nations face significant barriers to family planning and reproductive health. Many international development organizations were unwilling to invest resources in low-income countries with small populations. Yet the countries that make up French-speaking West and Central Africa have some of the highest maternal mortality rates and lowest contraceptive prevalence rates in the world. For every woman using contraception in the region, there are two women with an unmet need for contraception.
To address these needs, DKT established a regional social marketing program across French-speaking West and Central Africa to provide a full range of affordable family planning options using dynamic and entrepreneurial approaches. Leveraging commonalities across these countries enabled DKT to achieve economies of scale not previously possible in procurement, marketing and communications which makes this a highly cost effective and replicable model for clusters of small countries in other parts of the world. In 2016, DKT launched its first product (Kiss condoms) in Senegal. By 2019, DKT was marketing a range of products in over a dozen countries, and continues to seek new product registrations to expand our reach.
- DKT’s “Préservatifs Kiss” (Kiss Condoms) is the first truly regional youth condom brand, designed by young people in the region through a series of focus groups. Everything from the packaging and colors to the design and rollout of media campaigns was guided by young people.
- DKT took a similar approach to launching emergency contraception in FWACA. DKT launched a mass media campaign for Postpill emergency contraception that featured information on efficacy, price, and location.
- DKT has launched a new range of Lydia IUDs, some of which are available in the region for the first time. This means that IUDs are no longer a one-size-fits-all option for women, and women and health care professionals can choose the IUD that best suits the woman’s lifestyle and needs.
- Access to safe abortion and post–abortion care remains limited in the region with high complication rates and little access to treatment. DKT is one of the only distributors of manual vacuum aspiration equipment in the region, supplying both private and public sectors. In mid-2018, DKT began launching medical abortion products in the region. In many of these countries, medical abortion products were completely new to the market, bestowing tremendous responsibility on DKT to educate providers on the safety and efficacy of using pills for abortion care.