Despite the unprecedented challenges presented by Covid-19, DKT International, one of the largest providers of family planning and safe abortion products, services, and technology in the world, is expanding family planning access to ensure these essential services are within reach to women. With a focus on filling the gaps left behind by a broken contraceptive supply chain, DKT has shifted its operations by increasing the capacity of health care workers, advancing telemedicine and expanding its technological capacities.
“We are past the sprinting portion and settling into the marathon,” says Chris Purdy, CEO of DKT International. Measures were put in place in the early months of the pandemic, and now the goal is to continue mitigating its effects as we know that couples are still having sex and need contraception. Women are still seeking out safe abortion service, and courageous health providers understand that we are counting on them to continue to provide services.
Couples who have their contraceptive needs met have greater choices, increased socioeconomic mobility, and better health outcomes overall. By providing safe and quality methods of contraception and safe abortion products, DKT takes pressure off the healthcare systems of countries with DKT programs, allowing women to protect their own sexual and reproductive health despite the challenges of Covid-19.
Increasing Capacity of Health Care Providers (HCPs): DKT has begun providing HCPs with personal protection equipment (PPE) such as masks and sanitizer to ensure that they are able to safely do their jobs and deliver essential services. DKT has also upheld its commitment to host socially distant and online training sessions to strengthen the ability of midwives, nurses, pharmacists, medical doctors, and frontline health workers to deliver compassionate and high-quality care.
Advancing Telemedicine Capabilities: While lock-downs and social distancing measures continue, DKT has prioritized building out its telemedicine capacity by training providers on MVA (a safe abortion product used to manage miscarriages and provide abortion care), IUD insertion, and proper dosage and use of medical abortion. Partners of DKT in Indonesia have been taking online courses via Zoom to educate midwives and nurses. In India, DKT is educating thousands of doctors and pharmacists about abortion pills, including through the innovative online, ˜‘DrStore.
Furthering Use of Technology to Reach Women and Couples: In addition to e-training HCPS, DKT is accelerating digital resources for abortion care via social media and educational platforms as well as online counseling for contraceptive questions. Informational websites such as HowToUseAbortionPill.org and safe2choose.org feature chatbots to access advice on the abortion pill and self-care procedures and refer women to outlets and clinics all in more than twenty languages. DKT also leverages this information and services on social platforms, like Facebook and Instagram, as well as WhatsApp, to deliver women quick, reliable resources.
We are proud of the hard work and continued commitment of our teams to exhaust every option to safely and effectively deliver products and services to those who need it most, adds Purdy.