Sex education in Uganda has long been a present discussion. By the time the 90’s kids were coming into adolescence, the Abstinence, Be Faithful and Condom Use (ABC) campaign was already popular. In fact, many studies have even attributed the decline in the rate of HIV prevalence to it. Yet even with the ABC; religious, cultural and political conservatives to-date continue to promote the A and B over condom use. In some churches, it is taught that condom use is absolutely forbidden and a sin in the eyes of God, not to mention the recent heated debate on providing 15 year old girls with contraceptives. A move that the leadership described as “morally wrong” saying that this was not the culture in Africa. Meanwhile, the 25% teenage pregnancy rate and inaccessibility to family planning remains largely unresolved. A DKT conducted study shows that 45% women in Uganda who would like to use family planning are not using it for the obvious reasons. Many women have neither the say in if they should use contraceptives (a gender and social inequality issue) nor the information on how and where to access these.
It is against this background that DKT International, a worldwide producer of family planning products has launched its brands on the market. Condom brands Kiss and Fiesta will be available in different variants and price points to meet the needs of consumers of different demographics whereas the contraceptive injectables, intrauterine devices and most notably; a single pill emergency contraceptive (Lydia Postpil) all of which will trade under the brand name Lydia are intended to address the unmet need among especially the youth and low socio-economic groups. DKT Managing Director Collin Dick, speaking at the launch last week said that they intended to revolutionize the private sector market by introducing a full method mix of high quality and affordable contraceptives.
Dr. Anthony Mbonye, the chief guest at the launch said the move was a very timely one as the government makes more contributions to family planning before emphasizing that it is a win-win for both health and wealth. “Family planning helps women achieve their human rights to health, education, autonomy and personal decision making about the number and timing of their childbearing,” he added. A colorful cocktail event held at The Sheraton Kampala Hotel had red as the theme color and the decor; from the lights, to the table clothes and the banners, everything was an intimate red. The chief guest was presented with a basket hamper of condoms which he in turn saw fit to share with the largely varied audience.
DKT International is a non-profit organization that promotes family planning and HIV prevention through social marketing. It operates in Africa, Asia and Latin America.