The key to a successful family planning program lies in the wide range of contraceptive choices available to couples. Oral contraceptives (OCs) are a highly effective and safe method of contraception that should be made available as a choice to couples in need of family planning.
PSI began socially marketing OCs in Bangladesh in 1976. Since then, PSI has introduced combined oral contraceptives in over 30 additional countries. PSI currently socially markets OCs in Benin, Cameroon, DRC, Guinea, Mali, Togo, Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Malawi, Madagascar, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Paraguay, Nicaragua, Haiti, India, Pakistisan, Cambodia, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.
In 2008 alone, PSI sales of OCs surpassed 28 million cycles, which translates into nearly than 2 million Couple Years of Protection* (CYPs) against unintended pregnancy.
PSI's marketing strategies for OCs are aimed at creating consumer demand by addressing the key barriers to use, usually related to safety concerns, and meeting that demand by ensuring that health service providers (where clients usually go for advice on hormonal methods) are knowledgeable about the method. These goals are achieved through both consumer and service provider advertising and promotional campaigns. Service provider campaigns are often executed through the use of a PSI detailing force.
To supplement marketing activities, PSI trains service providers in family planning counseling and method administration. Service providers include doctors, paramedics, and pharmacists, as they are often the first points of contact for clients interested in learning about these methods. Notable examples of PSI's work in training service providers include the Green Star project in Pakistan and the ProFam project in Zimbabwe.
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Health Areas: Reproductive Health