Woman explains female condom

Tanzania Health protection and more self-determination with the female condom

Sub-Saharan Africa

In Tanzania, an innovative contraceptive should help to curb sexually transmitted diseases: the female condom. As part of the develoPPP program of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and The Female Health Company (FHC) worked to counter the stigmatisation of the contraceptive through education and counselling.  

The project helped to strengthen women's sexual self-determination and curb sexually transmitted diseases. FHC opened up new marketing channels and successfully expanded its business to the Tanzanian market. 

People reached with online campaign
percent Convinced training participants

When the female condom was introduced in Tanzania in the early 2000s, HIV infections and unwanted pregnancies were at an all-time high. Government and donor agencies promoted the female condom alongside conventional condoms and distributed them free of charge to hospitals and health facilities. However, the promotion programmes heavily targeted at-risk groups such as prostitutes or HIV-infected women. This led to a stigmatisation of the female condom and prevented it from establishing itself as a generally accepted contraceptive.  

In order to attract the increasingly educated and financially solvent middle class in Tanzania, FHC was interested in dispelling the reservations about the product. FHC globally distributes a female condom called FC2, which is accredited by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). The company is operating in more than 30 African countries and in addition to the existing public collaborations, planned to enter the commercial market.

In the time from 2017 to 2020 and with a project volume of 160,000 €, the partners implemented, among others, the following measures to reposition the female condom: 

  • Training of government employees, non-governmental organisations and health workers. The training materials developed were handed over to the local Ministry of Health and can henceforth be used for their further training.

  • Training of 36 trainers who - following the "training-of-trainers" approach - train the staff of the 152 distribution stations (mainly health facilities) on the use of condoms for women.  

  • Complementing the counselling offer with a campaign on radio, television and various social media channels to sensitise a broad audience - especially young and digital-savvy people - to the topic.  

FHC brought its experience in sales and training on contraceptives to the partnership, while GIZ, in addition to providing financial support, primarily assisted in developing the project concept and advised the company on implementation. The activities were carried out by the NGO Pathfinder International, which supported the project as an implementation partner.

We were sure that the problem was not the product, but the lack of information. Through the partnership with GIZ, we received the necessary financial and technical support to close this gap and successfully anchor the female condom in the middle of society.
Denise van Dijk, President Global Public Sector Division at The Female Health Company
Female contraception awareness raising event in Tanzania
As part of the project, numerous events were held to raise awareness and sensitise people to contraceptive issues. Photo: The Female Health Company
Advice on the use of the female condom
Interested visitors were educated about the use of the female condom. Here, for example, during the fiesta festival in Dar es Salaam. Photo: The Female Health Company

The project contributes to girls and women being able to better protect their health and live sexually self-determined lives. FHC has successfully expanded its business in the Tanzanian market and has almost quadrupled sales of FC2 during the project period. 99 public health facilities and 60 other distribution stations in Dar es Salaam provide counselling on the topic and distribute the condoms. The online campaign reached almost half women and half men, which is particularly remarkable because before the start of the project, acceptance of the condom by male partners was very low. Pathfinder International continues to provide counselling on safe contraceptive methods after the end of the project.

Development successes

women strengthened in sexual self-determination and family planning

Reducing sexually transmitted diseases

Successful cooperation with the local Ministry of Health

Business successes

in addition to public cooperation, the commercial market was accessed

the information campaign strengthened confidence in the contraceptive method

develoPPP Classic

develoPPP Classic is aimed at medium-sized and large companies that want to invest sustainably in a developing or emerging country and expand their operational activities locally. Suitable projects receive technical and financial support of up to two million euros in public funding.

The Female Health Company

The Female Health Company (FHC) is the creator of the FC2 Female Condom, also known as the Internal Condom. It has been distributed to over 150 countries, where,  with partners,  the company provides technical support educating communities about the benefits of the FC2. 

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

As a German federal enterprise, GIZ is a service provider in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education work for more than 50 years. It supports the economic development and promotion of employment and develops strategies for sustainable business together with the private sector.

Frederiek Chatfield Executive Director Global Public Sector The Female Health Company
Elisabeth Richter Project Manager develoPPP Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH