WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--DKT International and Sida are proud to announce their new partnership to improve the knowledge, demand, availability, and access to quality sexual and reproductive health products and services to young people and the poorest and most vulnerable, including the LGBTQ community – in 21 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Millions of women, young people, and vulnerable populations in the region are unable to access contraceptives, including condoms, and safe abortion products and services. Unwanted pregnancies continue to be a significant burden within the region where significant numbers of women are unable to make their own decisions about if, when and how they will become pregnant.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, if the unmet need for contraception was met there would be an 80% reduction in unwanted pregnancies. In many of the countries within the region, particularly West and Central Africa, there are significant gaps between the need for condoms and supply.
With support of $40 million (365 million SEK) over a four-year period from Sweden, the partnership will improve the knowledge, demand, availability, and access to quality sexual and reproductive health products and services to people in need.
“We are confident that through this program we will be able to contribute to health and development targets for the region by reducing maternal deaths, unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions, all while working to eliminate the stigma around sexual health and contraception among youth,” says Chris Purdy, CEO of DKT International.
As UN Member States meet in the key global policy space for sexual and reproductive health and rights, the Commission on Population and Development fifty-second session, Dag Sundelin, Head of the Sida Regional SRHR Team, says:
“The Swedish government understands the critical importance of expanding access to sexual and reproductive health services and products to all in order to reduce poverty and enable women to participate in society on the same terms as men.”
DKT employs a social marketing approach. On the one hand ensuring availability of a broad range of high-quality, affordable reproductive health products by building supply chains to register, import and distribute SRH products to a wide range of sales outlets. On the other by creating demand for contraceptives through behavior change campaigns that promote the benefits of contraception and safe sex.
DKT will also implement a regional model that can achieve price reductions and accelerate results through purchasing large quantities of commodities, shared brands, and cross-fertilization among programs.
The project expects to prevent 9.5 million unintended pregnancies; 11.3 million unsafe abortions; and 3 million HIV-related years lost due to ill-health, disability or early death (DALYs) over four years by selling more than 372 million condoms, over 20 million oral contraceptives, implants and IUDs and expanding access to medical abortion in 21 countries through outlets (pharmacies, clinics, etc.) which are primarily located in areas serving clients below the poverty line, providing quality training to providers on contraceptive methods and judgment-free counseling.