Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Access to Female Condoms (FC)

What is the status of your country’s access to female condoms (FC)?
Female condoms only comprise about 0.2% of the world’s condom supply. In 2007, 25.9 million Female Condoms were available worldwide (almost doubling the 2005 supply) and about 11 billion male condoms were distributed.

PPD member and collaborating African countries with FC country programs include:
1. Ghana
Another resource from Ghana
In Ghana, the Society of Women against AIDS in Africa (SWAA) in Ghana, launched a programme to improve women’s health rights through the introduction of the female condom. They successfully raised awareness of FC in two high incidence areas and tackled obstacles to FC use. While these activities still need to be extended into more districts, regions and communities, a total of 127,500 female condoms have been distributed to date through sales, community meetings and free distribution by SWAA/Ghana and collaborating organizations. Over 10,000 people have been directly reached through female condom training programmes.

2. Kenya

3. Mali

4. Nigeria

5. Rwanda

6. Senegal

7. South Africa

8. Tanzania

9. Uganda
Uganda's Ministry of Health to Reintroduce Female Condoms. Uganda's Ministry of Health will reintroduce female condoms as part of its HIV/AIDS prevention program in response to increased demand, IRIN/PlusNews reports. The Uganda government in 2007 halted distribution of the female condom because of insufficient demand and complaints that the condoms were not user-friendly. However, a recent health ministry analysis determined that women in the country sought an HIV prevention method that allowed them control over preventing sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and unintended pregnancies. (Source: Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report - Tuesday, February 17, 2009)

10. Zimbabwe
In Zimbabwe, where distribution of female condoms has expanded rapidly in 2008, women’s groups collected more than 30,000 signatures from women demanding access to the female condom. As a result, the government initiated importation of the female condom.

How to improve female condom availability and programming in your country
Strong advocacy for the female condom is needed to stimulate demand and increase access and availability. You can:

1. Develop an integrated advocacy campaign to support the effective introduction of female condoms within and across HIV prevention and reproductive health programs.

2. Advocate for the inclusion of female condoms in your country’s
• commodities purchasing plans.
• national strategic plan submitted for PEPFAR funding.
• Country Operational Plan submitted to Global Fund to Fight AIDS,TB and Malaria.
• Ask that your government request to be included in UNFPA’s Female Condon Initiative and Comprehensive Condom Programming Initiative. UNFPA’s Global Female Condom Initiative scales up female condom programming. For example, in Nigeria, UNFPA began collaboration in 2005 with the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria to implement a UNFPA Female Condom Initiative. Over 30 registered national RH and HIV/AIDS NGOs were trained in FC counselling and distribution and linked to sustainable supplies of stock for their programmes. These NGOs are now distributing 76% of the FCs used in Nigeria. The social marketing organizations currently engaged in distributing most (about 80%) of all male condoms used in Nigeria are planning to launch marketing of FCs as well. African countries enrolled in the UNFPA Condom Initiative in 2006-07: Zambia, Zimbabwe. Malawi, DRC, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ethiopia and Eritrea. African countries targeted for enrollment in 2008-09: Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Mauritânia, Burkina Faso, Rwanda, Mauritius, Botswana, Madagascar, Swaziland, Comoros, Seychelles, Mauritius, Lesotho, Mozambique, Ghana, Gabon and Congo-Brazzaville.

3. Contact the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) mission in your country and demand that they help you gain access to the female condom (Tanzania is currently receiving female condoms from USAID; Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya are not.).

Global Campaign for Microbicides:
WHO guide for FC use and programming:

Additional Contacts and Organizations:
Prevention Now! Campaign. One of the goals of Prevention Now! is to link with existing female condom campaigns, such as those in Argentina, Ghana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, in order to support and catalyze efforts to increase FC access. For more information, see

Female Health Foundation Team Leader, Katy Pepper at FHF works in partnership with UNFPA and provides technical assistance to governments, INGOs, NGOs and other agencies. They provide assistance, guidance and support with advocacy including linkage to others working in the same field/area; updated information on FC promotion and use; technical information on female condoms and guides on programming with the female condom.

For countries in East Africa, the Global Campaign for Microbicides’ Eastern Africa coordinator, Pauline Irungu, at PATH, A.C.S Plaza, Lenana Road, P.O Box 76634 Nairobi, 00508. Phone: +254 (020) 3877177/80/89 Fax: +254 (020) 3877172. The Global Campaign’s goal has always been to amplify demand for more and better HIV prevention options, particularly for women They are now increasing our efforts to mobilize advocacy for access to the female condom, especially in countries hardest hit by the HIV pandemic. For more information, please see the Global Campaign website at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kenya has some good expereinces.
FHI has done researches on female condom. Female Condom Research Briefs Series — No. 7: Lessons from a Female Condom Community Intervention Trial in Rural Kenya