SUPPORTing Female Condom Use in Malawi
In April, The Hunger Project and partner organization SUPPORT amplified their work to increase demand, access and use of female condoms in Malawi.
SUPPORT is a division of The Female Health Company (FHC) that consists of a health professionals team that specializes in FC2 female condom programming and training. Currently, FC2 is the only female condom in the world that meets high quality standards set by FDA.
Although the Malawi Ministry of Health includes female condoms in the medical supply chain, Departments of Health instead often prioritize curative medical goods and male condoms, possibly because of the misconceptions around female condoms use. So, The Hunger Project is working to bust the myths associated with female condoms. Four districts dedicated "Female Condom champions" work for health facilities to perform community outreach on bicycles in easily recognizable clothes and carrier bags.
"The goal of this project is to contribute towards increased advocacy, access, correct and consistent use of female condoms by both male and female sexually active groups in Malawi," said The Hunger Project-Malawi Country Director Rowlands Kaotcha. Female condoms empower women to engage in family planning and protect themselves from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
As part of this program, The Hunger Project-Malawi will also receive master female condom trainings from SUPPORT’s experienced trainers from South Africa. Last September, The Hunger Project and SUPPORT also worked together to organize Global Female Condom Day activities in Malawi. SUPPORT’s "hope is that women and their partners have access to the FC2 female condom as and when they need it, together with the knowledge about how to use FC2 correctly."
Photo: Partners and Director of SUPPORT Lucie van Mens on their visit to Champiti Epicenter last February.