WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--DKT International, one of the largest providers of contraception and family planning products and services in low-and middle-income countries, has just signed a $5.9 million agreement with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) in Uganda to expand access to high quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) supplies and services. Over a period of four years, with the support of the Embassy and key partners, DKT will improve the country’s overall modern contraceptive prevalence rate (mCPR) by increasing awareness and availability of SRH products and services through private sector channels, delivering 3.05 million Couple Years of Protection (CYPs, or the amount of contraceptives one couple will use for a year to prevent pregnancy)—averting 564,000 unintended pregnancies and 4,000 maternal deaths.
Over the last 20 years, Uganda has made significant progress in increasing access to contraception. However, challenges persist as contraceptive prevalence rates have stagnated since 2016 due to structural, cultural, and economic barriers. “A woman’s choice if and when to have children, and a couple’s ability to plan the timing of childbearing, is one of the most important and empowering decisions they will make in their lifetimes,” says Lauren Archer, the DKT Country Director for Uganda. “The ramifications of unintended pregnancy in Uganda carry significant health and economic risks and are compounded by issues like high rates of teen pregnancy and unsafe abortions. With the support of the Netherlands, DKT will improve access to a wide range of sexual and reproductive health information, commodities, and services through private sector providers.”
Drawing from its deep social marketing expertise, DKT Uganda, established in 2017, will increase availability and uptake of contraceptive products in the private health sector through innovative marketing, demand generation, and product distribution techniques. Additionally, DKT will train private healthcare providers, drug shop operators, and pharmacists to improve their ability to deliver quality services and build an ecosystem of trusted providers of SRH services. The following partners will be instrumental in helping DKT achieve the goals set out in the agreement:
- Population Services International (PSI): As leaders in public-private engagement initiatives, PSI will support the implementation of Uganda’s Total Market Approach strategy and increase public-private collaboration for improved efficiency within the SRH market in Uganda.
- Community Health Rights Network (COHERINET): As a leading grassroots SRH organization in Uganda, COHERINET will work closely with DKT to reach young women and other key populations with SRH information and improved linkages to products and services through community mobilization activities and enhancement of its toll free SRH hotline ‘Aunt Kaki’.
- Women First Digital (WFD): A global FemTech leader working at the intersection of technology, self-care, and reproductive rights, will expand access to its digital brands and platforms to provide Ugandan women with digital access to quality SRH information, personalized counseling, and on-the-ground service referrals.
“Collaboration with both public and private health sector actors is central in the Embassy’s strategy to increase access to and utilization of sexual and reproductive health services to meet the needs of citizens, and most importantly, women and girls. This project builds on existing investments of the Embassy in Uganda and will support universal access to sexual and reproductive health services and commodities through the private sector. The Embassy’s partnership with DKT will advance the ambitions of Uganda’s National Development Plan III by reducing unmet need for contraception, adolescent fertility, unsafe abortions, and maternal mortality,” says the Netherlands Ambassador to Uganda, Karin Boven.
“DKT is excited to work alongside incredible partners to make affordable, high-quality contraception more available, accessible, and acceptable to use,” says Chris Purdy, President and CEO of DKT International. “One condom, one IUD, or one injectable can mean the difference between a woman who has the agency to determine her life course, and a woman who does not.”
About DKT International:
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.