WASHINGTON, D.C.: DKT International, one of the largest private providers of family planning products and services in the developing world, is proud to report on their expansion progress in Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya and Somalia.
“Much like Europe after World War II, political instability, social and economic upheaval, religious constraints, and large refugee populations, significantly set back public health initiatives like family planning in war torn countries. Clinics close, doctors move on and despite such challenges, DKT programs have stepped in to fill a growing unmet need, becoming critical providers of condoms and other contraception,” says Chris Purdy, President and CEO, DKT. “Often, in times of conflict, the right or ability to access family planning is one of the first things women lose. We have made it our mission to find creative ways to train providers and mid-wives to ensure contraceptive availability, avert unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and maternal and child mortality.”
DKT’s work in the Middle East and North Africa (DKT MENA) is an extension of their social marketing program in Egypt. In 2017, DKT Egypt generated over 1.7 million couple years of protection (CYPs) through cost-effective contraceptives and in the past year, provided 2.4 million condoms.
A few highlights include:
- DKT Egypt/MENA, along with DKT Womancare, recently participated in one of the region’s biggest events, “Arab Health” in Dubai for the first time from January 27-31. It was a successful platform and an exciting growth opportunity to reach more women in-need, especially in Sudan, Yemen, Somalia and Iraq.
- Sales in Somalia: DKT is one step closer towards providing family planning products in Somalia. DKT Egypt coordinated with the African Training Center to host a family planning training for 34 Somali healthcare providers in Punt Land, Somalia. DKT customized training manuals on counseling techniques and reproductive health information to meet the needs of Somali practitioners.
- In Egypt, mosques provide contraceptive access to women. On any given day, the El-Hosary Mosque in Egypt is filled with physicians who are not there to pray or participate in religious ceremonies, but to attend an IUD (intrauterine device) insertion training session conducted by DKT. Trained physicians can now provide family planning services to the many women who cannot afford a trip to a regular clinic.
- In Syria, with approximately 3 million women of reproductive age in the midst of Syria’s crisis, and an additional one million female refugees of reproductive age in neighboring countries, DKT supplied 25,000 IUDs to Syrian women in the past year. They also provided support, education and training to ensure contraception becomes a strong tool for determining a better future for themselves and their families.
- In 2017, DKT Turkey provided 4.4 million condoms and 24,410 IUDs.
DKT has plans to expand to other markets in the region and is laying the groundwork to respond to a range of challenges facing women of reproductive age in markets like Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. The Jordan office will initially provide IUDs, condoms, and MVA abortion kits.
“We will continue to ensure access to family planning triumphs differences in culture, economics, politics, gender, and religion. Supporting women in choosing a better future for themselves, especially in places where there are social and political conflicts, is what drives DKT’s mission,” adds Purdy.