Tuesday, July 2, 2019

From Hot Spots to Holy Places: Group sales of health products contribute to women’s empowerment and better health in Mali

Togo Kadiatou Malle, president of Muso Yiriwa Ton in Mali, is now an ardent proponent of condoms and contraceptives.
This was originally published on the Knowledge4Health Blog on July 1, 2019.

The first five times the sales manager of Keneya Jemu Kan came looking for Madame Togo Kadiatou Mallé to talk about her women’s association selling condoms and other health products, she ran away and hid, so terrified was she of the prospect of having to work with condoms. 

But the sales manager’s persistence paid off. Eventually, they talked, and Madame Togo has become such an enthusiastic condom promoter, she is known as Mama Condom. She laughs about her fear of condoms. 

Madame Togo is president of Muso Yiriwa Ton (MYT), which means “women-empowering group” in the Bambara language, a women’s association based in the very poor Sabalibougou neighbourhood of Bamako, Mali. Her association – as well as other women’s associations – are a major reason for the success of Keneya Jemu Kan (“Communication Around Health”), or KJK, a project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs that seeks to reduce maternal, infant, and child mortality in Mali. Palladium leads the social marketing component of KJK.

MYT has more than 400 members, and roughly half of them sell the KJK’s male and female condoms, as well as Aquatabs (water purification tablets)Orasel Zinc (zinc tablets and oral rehydration solution to treat diarrhoea), and CycleBeads (a natural family planning method). MYT members sell an average of 107 cartons of Protector Plus condoms per month. That’s 64,200 condoms. The partnership helps to enhance economic prospects of its members. 

“It has become a source of life for many families,” said Madame Togo. “And it is improving health of the areas where they sell, in Commune 5 and beyond.”

Monday, March 18, 2019

In Brazil, condoms become popular by emphasizing fun, not responsibility

DKT promoted its Prudence brand of condoms in the São Paulo Carnival of 2019, as they do every year.

This was originally published by Knowedge4Health Blog on March 11, 2019.

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — In 1991, a non-profit social marketing organization set out to make condoms accessible and affordable in Brazil at a time when condoms were hard to find and expensive and the number of Brazilians infected with HIV was climbing. In the process, DKT Brazil made its brand Prudence the number one condom in the very competitive Brazilian market, and also helped enhance contraceptive security. 

The result is that condoms have become normalized in Brazil – more used and less stigmatized – and that has helped limit the spread of HIV.

In 1990, the World Bank estimated that Brazil would have 1.2 million people living with HIV by 2000. However, that never happened: By 2000, there were fewer than 500,000 infections. After peaking in 1996, according to UNAIDS, AIDS-related deaths have remained fairly stable. Brazil is now considered an HIV success story. Condoms – distributed both by the public and private sectors – played an important role in that success.

Prudencehas become the most popular condom in Brazil by taking a very different approach to the positioning and marketing. While most commercial condom distributors marketed their products for responsibility and protection, DKT eroticized its condom messaging, celebrated sexuality and used humorous vernacular, with no medical jargon. Its advertising was daring and provocative: The PrudenceYouTube page demonstrates that.