The female condom (FC) was identified by the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition in 2011 as one of several under-used reproductive health technologies having the potential to expand choice in reproductive health and family planning programs, add value to the method mix, and respond to the needs of diverse types of clients. The FC also is key to increasing HIV protection options for women and men, and is the only female-initiated HIV prevention barrier method. Although FC distribution rates lag far behind those of male condoms, there has recently been significant progress in FC technology. Since 2000, new FC products have become available, with the aims of reducing unit costs and improving acceptability.
South Africa, Brazil and India have the largest publicly funded FC distribution programs in the world, though many other countries also distribute FCs through nationally supported mechanisms. Unfortunately, however, there is limited data available on programmatic costs on costs for South Africa’s National FC Programme. In this cost evaluation, we aimed to estimate the average incremental cost, from the health service perspective, of offering FCs per user and in total at the national level.