Skip to content

EXPERIMENT IN ETHIOPIA: Charging consumers for condoms instead of handing them out for free

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/29/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Use of prophylactics promoted in nation with the second-highest population on African continent

Getting prophylactics, or condoms into the hands of Ethiopian men is seen as a way to halt the spread of HIV and encourage family planning in the second most populous nation on the African continent. The largest supplier of such condoms here, DKT International, offers them for as little as 10 cents for three. The company is now selling an "upscale" version of the condom for $1.10 that comes in its own steel case. The rationale behind this tactic is highly interesting -

It's a unique quandary: pricing condoms just like any other product, or to treat them as potential lifesavers that should be available free to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

It's a unique quandary: pricing condoms just like any other product, or to treat them as potential lifesavers that should be available free to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
6/29/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: DKT, condoms, Ethiopia, HIV, pregnancy


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The new brand, called Members Only, is not subsidized at all and is notably aimed upmarket. Hiking up the price of a commodity seen as a vital tool in fighting a global epidemic would appear unsuccessful.

The tactic opens a wider discussion in development circles; whether putting a price on things, rather than giving supplies away, increases their eventual use by intended consumers.

Make your prayers count. Go here --

As DKT attempts to move from a subsidized model to a self-sustainable one, the Members Only condom was released in an attempt to get a clearer picture of what consumers might be willing to pay. The effort is being undercut by the relentless supply of free condoms pouring into the country from the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID and the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR.

It's a unique quandary: pricing condoms just like any other product, or to treat them as potential lifesavers that should be available free to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

DKT has about 40 million condoms stacked in its main Addis Ababa warehouse, from which it annually distributes more than 60 million. Meanwhile, USAID plans to procure up to 35 million free condoms for Ethiopia in 2015. Promoting condom use in a developing country is very complex.

USAID says targeted distribution of free condoms, combined with health promotions, can actually create some demand to purchase condoms for cash.

"We support market segmentation, but there is a limit to what we can expect people to pay for, given the financial situation," Keith Hummel, commodities and logistics adviser for USAID in Ethiopia. Twenty-nine percent of Ethiopians still live in absolute poverty, subsisting on less than $2 a day.

As a result of free condoms, DKT has seen its market share slide from about 70 percent in 2009 to 30 percent currently. The goal of creating a sustainable business, and a sustainable condom supply, is harder than previously realized.

The use of condoms in Ethiopia seems to have worked in helping stem the spread of HIV. The infection rate in Ethiopia is relatively low, at about 1.3 percent. Yet disease prevention is not the only benefit.

Ethiopians have become much more aware of condoms during the past five years. Most Ethiopian women are too ashamed to buy or collect them. It's the men who are expected to have them at the ready, health officials say.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for MARCH 2017
Support for Persecuted Christians.
That persecuted Christians may be supported by the prayers and material help of the whole Church.


Comments


More Africa

The worst humanitarian crisis since WWII: Kenya is starving Watch

Image of Emmanuel Ayapar are two of Kenya's 20 million citizens facing

The United Nations reported the famine in Africa has put 20 million people at risk of starvation. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Christian pastor discovers amazing treasure in Sierra Leone Watch

Image of Pastor Emmanuel Momoh made an amazing discovery.

African church minister Emmanuel Momoh supplements his meager stipend by mining various minerals in the mines of eastern Sierra Leone. LOS ... continue reading


Is this the statue of the Pharaoh of the Exodus found toppled in a muddy pit under an Egyptian slum? Watch

Image of The statue of Ramses II will be repaired and put on display.

Archaeologists in Cairo have recovered the top half of an ancient colossus, likely built for Pharaoh Ramses II. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


Tragedy strikes four Ethiopian nuns in horror car accident Watch

Image of Four nuns were killed in a car accident (not pictured) on their way to a funeral.

The Church in Ethiopia is mourning the deaths of four religious sisters who died in a car accident that critically injured three other ... continue reading


Suffering South Sudan Watch

Image of 5.5 million people are starving in South Sudan.

People are beginning to starve to death in South Sudan. The United Nations has formally declared that a state of famine exists in this east ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.