Welcome to Durban

Welcome to Durban!

I was honored to join a select group of female condom experts from around the world at the Female Condom Parallel Programming Meeting in Durban, South Africa this past week.  The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the development of international initiatives that would prepare the global market for the World Health Organization approval of multiple female condoms, not just those created by a single company.  These female condoms will be made from different materials, all with varying modes of insertion and separate sets of instructions for proper use.  Our task:  Create a plan for global female condom parallel programming with policy, marketing and training recommendations to be implemented by national governments as they decide which female condom(s) to procure.

Female condomologists at the table

Female condomologists at the table

Presentation by Bidia from The United Nations Population Fund

Presentation by Bidia from The United Nations Population Fund

I arrived in Durban last Tuesday and joined colleagues from UNFPA, MatCH and Universal Access to Female Condoms at the Riverview for dinner.  We had the pleasure of enjoying delicious South African wine and cuisine, accompanied by an exhilarating conversation about the work to be done over the next few days…

The giant elephant in the room… at the airport, that is.

The giant elephant in the room… at the airport, that is.

In the conference room at MatCH

In the conference room at MatCH

We were joined the following morning by a fantastic group of female condom experts from PSI Mozambique, the South Africa National Department of Health, Association Camerounaise pour le Marketing Social, Support Worldwide and PATH.  Our time together was made up of sessions, group work and presentations on female condom technology, programming, training, education and marketing from around the world.

Reports from the Female Condom Technical Review Committee

Reports from the Female Condom Technical Review Committee

Mags leads the brainstorming on female condom policy recommendations to national governments

Mags leads the brainstorming on female condom policy recommendations to national governments

Device used to insert a new latex female condom (FYI, the strawberry is just for decoration - the device is not flavored)

Device used to insert a new latex female condom (FYI, the strawberry is just for decoration - the device is not flavored)

Support Worldwide's presentation on the transition from FC1 to FC2

Maya's presentation on the Support Worldwide transition from FC1 to FC2

Support Worldwide and TCP

Support Worldwide & TCP

With my colleague from The Condom Project, I presented our global initiatives in condom destigmatization, peer driven condom distribution and our culturally specific educational materials.  I also presented our work with the United Nations Population Fund’s All About Condoms initiative and The CONDOMIZE Campaign.

Doreen & Raquiana from PSI Mozambique

PSI Mozambique

Female Condom champions from MatCH, Support Worldwide, The Condom Project (me) & ACMS

Female Condom champions from MatCH, Support Worldwide, The Condom Project (me) & ACMS

It was such a pleasure to attend this meeting, and I am truly looking forward to the implementation of our recommendations in the near future.  I cannot think of a more interesting way to have spent my Thanksgiving holiday!

On the beach in Durban… I'd say yes ;-)

On the beach in Durban… I'd say yes 😉

My toes in the Indian Ocean

My toes in the Indian Ocean

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