The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

5205.0: Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 2:50 PM

Abstract #49000

National public sector introduction of the female condom in South Africa

Tara Nutley, MPH, Field Information and Training Services, Family Health International, P.O. Box 13950, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, (919) 544-7040,

South Africa has one of the few programs in the world that provides the female condom to women via the national family planning service delivery system. The experience in South Africa is valuable to us as we face the challenge of providing prevention options to countries with high HIV rates. The female condom is often cited as a possible solution to this challenge, yet unanswered questions about the feasibility and public health impact of this method remain. This paper will provide an overview of the introduction of the female condom in the national family planning program in South Africa. The program rationale will be discussed and the phases of the program will be outlined. Results from a survey of users and providers will be presented. Women reported using this product alone and with other methods of hormonal contraception. Women also reported that more sex acts were protected with the addition of the female condom. Most providers did not promote female condoms: among those that did, cascade training worked in terms of information transfer. Support at every level of the health system and integration into the existing family planning system were vital elements of this program. Female condom provision looks promising in terms of increasing the number of sex acts protected among the family planning population. However, more needs to be done to enable providers to add female condom distribution to their workload. The program needs more evaluation in terms of public health impact, cost effectiveness and performance assessment.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:
    I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

    The Female Condom: Is it Working?

    The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA