universal acces to female condoms
Working to improve women’s sexual health and prevention of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, Cameroon and Mozambique.
In Sub-Saharan Africa 72% of the young people who become newly infected with HIV are women. In developing countries alone, approximately 75 million pregnancies that occur are unintended. The critical importance of increased access to female condoms, as the only dual prevention method that women can initiate themselves, is clear. This is more and more being emphasized by global health officials, yet investments in these methods has not met the growing demand and access is far from universal. Cultural and price barriers exist but can be overcome, by ensuring effective awareness and information on benefits and usage and by introducing competitive new female condom designs that instigate a dynamic international market.
Universal Access to Female Condoms Joint Programme is currently into its second phase (2012 – 2015) and will continue to work with manufacturers of female condoms to increase choice as a strategy to drive down the price, and give women and men more options to buy their preferred female condom.
Different types of female condoms will be put on the market by social marketing organizations in Nigeria, Cameroon and Mozambique raising awareness to address sexuality matters and make female condoms a sustained household product. Strategies include training hairdressers, peer educators and more emphasis will be put on involving youth and men to reach out to a large and diverse public.
Best practices fed into the UAFC Implementation Guide which enables new female condom implementers to be well informed about supply chain management, programming, advocacy and other relevant topics. Programming different types of female condoms (parallel programming) will be included in information available for new implementers. The advocacy toolkit enables local advocates to convince others to opt for female condoms, local advocacy organizations will advocate towards their governments to include female condoms into their policies, budgets and programmes.
During 2009 – 2012 over 5 million female condoms were sold in selected areas of Cameroon and Nigeria. Selling female condoms always goes hand in hand with information and education activities and people are explained the benefits and how to use it. In Mozambique the Cupid female condom (under its local name Jeitosa) was introduced for a specific target group of young urban women as the second type of female condom on the Mozambican market. Growing demand in the country programmes is demonstrated by the increasing numbers of people willing to buy and use female condoms, including increasing numbers of men.
Progress in product design has already led to the WHO approval of the Cupid female condom. A big step towards more choice and variety of female condoms for women and men, and a more compatible and viable female condom market! It is expected that more new female condom designs will be pre-qualified by the WHO in the near future.
An example of successful international advocacy is the willingness of more than 14,000 individual women and men worldwide to sign paper dolls requesting more access to female condoms. The dolls gathered were displayed during the 2012 International Aids Conference in Washington DC, illustrating a huge potential and support for female condoms.
The Universal Access to Female Condoms Joint Programme is a continued collaboration between Oxfam Novib, Rutgers WPF, i+solutions and the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The lead partners in the country programmes are the ‘Association Camerounaise pour le Marketing Social’ (ACMS) in Cameroon and the Society for Family Health (SFH) in Nigeria and the FC consortium in Mozambique led by PSI Mozambique.
The work is supported by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Sida and the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The project website,condoms4all.org, has more detail on the programme, including programming, advocacy and pooled procurement and shares the latest knowledge emerging from the project.
For further information about the Universal Access to Female Condoms programme, please contact Monique Demenint, the project leader at Oxfam Novib: email@example.com or follow UAFC via twitter: Zawadismartlove or Facebook: Zawadismartlove
|Bron||Oxfam Novib, February 7, 2013|
kirstine vangkilde berner
Why I support this project: 'We saw that the UAFC project could add value by being targeted and comprehensive'
Why I support his project: 'I am noticing in the international discourse that female condoms are mentioned more and more often'
'What a wonderful solution! After using it once, we didn’t want anything else… I tell my customers. I’m very open about it. Then they ask me: ‘Me? Condoms? I don’t have any diseases, do I?’, but I know from experience how important it is. Especially for young girls. So I tell them: ‘If you want to have sex, then use condoms.’ To abstain is better, but I’m no fool, I know that is not realistic.'
Seyi Jamoh, hairdresser and distributor of female condoms, Nigeria
Read more in an article talking to Cameroonian customers, distributors and campaigners for the female condom.