WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--DKT International, one of the largest providers of contraception and safe abortion products, is mitigating the impending effects of COVID-19 on global access to contraceptives by adopting necessary preemptive measures. In light of the recent global health crisis, DKT is proud to announce the expansion of their partnership with The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) to aid sexual and reproductive health and rights in the DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, and Tanzania. Sida will provide an additional 20 million Swedish krona (roughly $1.9 million USD) to ensure that DKT is equipped to handle potential supply shortages and expand access to contraception and safe abortion in East and Southern Africa.
“The COVID-19 pandemic impacts every single link of the supply chain for sexual and reproductive health products – from the production of critical raw materials, to international shipping and clearing of those products, to delays in regulatory approvals,” says Chris Purdy, President and CEO of DKT. “We’re also seeing COVID-19 impact the availability of healthcare practitioners and their willingness to provide reproductive health services during uncertain times. While it is challenging to know the full extent of COVID-19, we are bracing for a global shortage of contraceptives. We are grateful for Sida’s critical contribution, which helps us ensure that all women and men in this region who want and need contraceptives have access to them.”
Before COVID-19 impedes access to vital pharmaceutical products, Sida’s additional financial contribution will give DKT’s programs in East and Southern Africa the opportunity to stock up on the essentials, including: condoms, medical abortion, oral contraception, emergency contraception, and injectables.
“Sida recognizes the importance of expanding access to sexual and reproductive health services and products in Eastern and Southern Africa – especially as COVID-19 poses a threat to that access. It’s critical that such services continue in order to avoid increased unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortion and maternal mortality due to health systems overburdened by COVID-19,” said Dag Sundelin, Head of the Sida Regional SRHR Team.
DKT uses a human-rights based approach to engage youth, providers, mobilizers, and the people who can make a difference in their communities. Sida’s 2019 funding enabled DKT to grow its product portfolio, train providers, and actively reach young people in order to increase the capacity of those obliged to respect, promote, protect and fulfil sexual and reproductive rights. As a result, DKT generated over 6.4 million CYPs through the sale of more than 98.3 million condoms, 6.2 million cycles of oral contraceptives, 4.6 million emergency contraceptives, 4.1 million injectables, 488,000 implants, 254,000 IUDs, 1.7 million tablets of misoprostol, 544,000 medical abortion (MA) combipacks, and 7,600 MVA kits in East and Southern Africa in 2019 alone.
“Although the future of the pandemic remains uncertain, DKT will do everything in our power to ensure continued access to the reproductive health products that empower women and men to exercise their reproductive autonomy,” concludes Purdy.
Since 1989, DKT International’s core mission has been to provide safe and affordable options for family planning and HIV prevention through social marketing in underserved countries throughout Latin America, Africa, and Asia.