WASHINGTON--(new white paper from DKT International, the largest private provider of family planning and contraception in 19 developing countries, details how the organization has worked with four national governments to shape policies that enhance the legal and programmatic climate for birth control. At a time when access to contraceptives and abortion rights is under attack in the United States and other countries, such successes illustrate how innovative and adventurous social marketing programs can gain government support to improve millions of lives.)--A
“Their responsibility is to custom-tailor their programs to help the maximum number of people. This takes creativity and experience to promote family planning and safe sex messages while honoring country policies that may include religious, political or other barriers.”
“Each of the DKT country directors runs their own program autonomously, regularly interacting with local government officials,” said Christopher H. Purdy, Executive Vice President of DKT International. “Their responsibility is to custom-tailor their programs to help the maximum number of people. This takes creativity and experience to promote family planning and safe sex messages while honoring country policies that may include religious, political or other barriers.”
Each country success story detailed in the white paper, Shaping Policy Climate to Increase Family Planning Use, describes the innovative family planning efforts that won government support:
- DKT Indonesia was the catalyst for the establishment of National Condom Week, together with the Ministry of Health, the National AIDS Commission and the National Family Planning Board.
- DKT Sudan worked with the Sudanese Ministry of Health to train mid-level health providers (especially midwives) on safe IUD insertion and distribution of oral contraceptives.
- DKT Ethiopia was instrumental in securing legislative approval for the Ministry of Health and the Food & Drug Administration to legalize safe medical abortion (MA) drugs.
- DKT Brazil collaborated with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Industrial Affairs to reduce taxes and secure tax exemptions making male and female condoms more affordable.
“DKT’s mission is to provide couples in developing countries with affordable and safe options for family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention,” Purdy added. “Last year, as detailed in our annual report, we served 22 million couples, resulting in the prevention of 7 million unwanted pregnancies, 1.4 million abortions and more than 11,000 maternal deaths. These contributions are increasingly recognized by host country governments.”