The health service costs of offering female condoms in South Africa’s National Female Condom Program 2015/16

By  Naomi Lince-Deroche  Bongiwe Zulu  Jackie Roseleur  Mags Beksinska  |  | 

The female condom (FC) was identified by the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition in 2011 as one of several under-used reproductive health technologies with the potential to expand choice in reproductive health and family planning programs, responding to the needs of diverse clients (1). The FC is also key to increasing HIV protection options for women and men. It is the only female-initiated HIV prevention barrier method. Although FC distribution rates lag far behind those of male condoms (1), recently there has been significant progress in FC technology, resulting in reduced unit costs and improved acceptability (2).

South Africa, Brazil and India have the largest publicly funded FC distribution programs worldwide. Unfortunately, however, programmatic cost data are limited (2). As part of a national evaluation of South Africa’s FC program, led by MatCH Research Unit, the Health Economics and Epidemiology Research Office estimated the average incremental cost per FC user, from the health service perspective as well as the total national cost of FC distribution in financial year 2015/16.

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