Activists Want Family Planning Products Distributed by Big Businesses

1830 Views Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

In short
For a country like Uganda, it would mean mobile companies like MTN helping in distributing contraceptives alongside airtime and sim cards as part of their social responsibility.

Reproductive health activists want family planning products distributed through supply chains run buy big businesses in order to reach every corner of the world.
 
The activists have been pushing multinationals like Coca-Cola and Pepsi to allow family planning products like pills and condoms delivered through their enormous networks.
 
For a country like Uganda, it would mean mobile companies like MTN helping in distributing contraceptives alongside airtime and sim cards as part of their social responsibility.
 
Another scenario would be going to buy a Mukwano product or a newspaper and walking away with a pill or a condom.
 
At the family planning conference in London in 2012, Uganda committed to universal access to family planning and to reduce unmet need for family planning from 40 per cent to 10 per cent by 2022.
 
Uganda also pledged to support alternative distribution channel for the private sector and scaling up innovative approaches like community-based distribution, outreaches, social marketing, social franchising and youth-friendly service provision.
 
Lakshmi Puri, the Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Acting Executive Director of UN Women, told over 3,000 delegates at an international conference on women and girls in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that big companies should open up their networks for distribution of family planning products in order to reach more women and girls.
 
Lakshmi said if private sector players opened up to the idea, it would help in reaching the over 200 million women and girls who desperately need family planning products and services.
 
Dr Musimbi Kanyoro, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Global Fund for Women, said if in any village you can get Coca-Cola or Pepsi products then why not contraceptives. She said contraceptives should be like toothpaste that one can get at the nearest kiosk.
 
Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the delegates via a video message that all stakeholders, especially leaders, should renew their promise to deliver to women all over the world.
 
Melinda Gates, wife to the world’s second richest man, Bill Gates, said there is a need to integrate family planning services at village level, adding that all leaders including community and religious ones should be fully engaged.
 
Gates said every single woman, no matter how hard she is to reach, should get the contraceptives she wants at the highest quality without any problem, coercion or discrimination.
 
Dr Raj Abdul Karim, Women Deliver’s Asia Regional Director, said women have delivered everyone in the world and now it is the time for the world to deliver for every woman in the world.
 
According to Dr Babatunde Osotimehin, the Executive Director of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the unmet need for contraceptives stands at 220 million women globally. He said the best way out would be for family planning to be at the centre of every development plan in every country.
 
Dr Babatunde said an important factor in promoting usage of family planning methods is quality assurance, disclosing that 40 per cent of clients discontinue using contraceptives because of poor quality services.