As part of efforts in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, DKT Liberia with support from the Swedish Embassy and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) has provided a huge quantity of medical items to the Government through the Ministry of Health (MOH) to help ensure the safety of Sexual and Health Reproductive health Rights (SHR) in the country.
DKT International, a registered non-profit organization founded in 1989, is one of the world’s largest providers of contraceptive and safe abortion products. DKT International also seeks to mitigate the impending effects of COVID-19 on global access to contraceptives by adopting necessary preemptive measures.
The items presented included 2,500 MVA kits, 15,000 MM combi kit (combo), and 15,000 Miso-Fem (Misoprostol) tablets.
The items were presented on February 3, 2021, to Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah, Minister of Health and Mrs. Bentoe Tehoungue, the Director of Family Health Division at MOH for onward distribution to all health facilities within Liberia’s 15 counties.
Through this aid, DKT said they are equipped to handle potential shortages due to COVID-19 and expand access to contraceptives and safe abortion.
“I would like to thank the Ministry of Health, the Embassy of Sweden for this collaboration that would support access SHR,” DKT Liberia Country Manager, Mr. Antonio Cazares Turcott noted.
He continued: “At DKT, we believe in working together to overcome the different challenges facing the health sector of Liberia. Now more than ever, we need this private partnership so that we can make the difference in the country. With the Swedish’s support, DKT is focused on doing everything to minimize disruption in access to and use of high-quality Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) products.”
According to Mr. Turcott, the reproductive health needs of women and men worldwide are not on “pause” during this time, “So we are taking steps to address those needs.”
He said in Liberia, DKT and the Swedish Embassy responded to the alarm bell by donating these medical drugs that will be available for free services at public facilities in the country.
Swedish Ambassador to Liberia, Madam Ingrid Wetterqvist in remarks said she believes that norms and laws should work together with the availability of services to reach all young people in urban and rural areas to empower them to exercise their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Unfortunately, Madam Wetterqvist revealed that in Liberia, 1,072 pregnant women per every 100,000 die due to childbirth-related causes, which she said is one of the highest in the world.
She said Sweden strongly supports Liberia’s efforts to reverse this negative trend of high maternal mortality and to enhance access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.
These supplies, according to her, are intended to reduce premature deaths by securing abortion care services at public facilities (when permitted under the law).
Through DKT International, Ambassador Wetterqvist said, Sweden supports social marketing of a range of contraceptive products through the private sector.
For her part, the Director of Family Health Division at MOH, Mrs Bentoe Tehoungue, in return thanked DKT Liberia and the Swedish Embassy for the donation. She promised that medical drugs will be used for its intended purpose.
Since 1989, DKT International’s core mission has been to provide safe and affordable options for family planning and HIV prevention through social marketing in 90 underserved countries throughout Latin America, Africa, and Asia. In 2019, DKT generated 48 million CYPs through the sale of more than 805 million condoms, 93 million cycles of oral contraceptives, 13 million emergency contraceptives, 30 million injectables, 1.8 million implants, 4 million IUDs, 4 million medical abortion (MA) combipacks, and 222,000 MVA kits.