Family Planning for Women

Measurable Results from Zimbabwe’s Widespread Condom Use

By Jenny Tolep, External Relations and Communications Did you know that Zimbabwe has the highest condom use in the world? In 2014, there were more than 109 million condoms used. In a country where roughly 1,400,000 adults are living with HIV, more than 50 percent of them women, condom use is critical. PSI has contributed to

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Supporting Sexual Assault Survivors in Zimbabwe

By Kumbirai Chatora, Director of Social Marketing, PSI Zimbabwe April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month to raise awareness about sexual violence and engage communities on how to prevent it. According to the WHO, an average of 30% of women globally who have been in a relationship report having experienced some form of physical or sexual

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Honoring Our Health Workers on World Health Day

Around the world today, many of our friends and colleagues are celebrating World Health Day. The day marks the anniversary of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) First World Health Assembly, which was held on April 7, 1948. Each year, the WHO chooses a theme for the day — this year it’s Food Safety — and

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A New Start in Conquering TB

Photo of the Week

By: Jenny Tolep, External Relations and Communications On Tuesday, March 24th PSI recognized World Tuberculosis Day to raise awareness about the disease and encourage further efforts to address it globally. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one third of the world’s population has been infected with tuberculosis (TB). TB is the number one killer of those infected with HIV, responsible for one-fifth of all HIV-related deaths. With

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A new technology to support HIV prevention

By Oscar Abello, PSI Trymore Chikwiriro is 29 years old, and his wife gave birth to their first child just this past October. Just like they expected, all of their nights were focused on their new baby– so the time seemed right for Trymore to undergo voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC). The World Health Organization

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A powerful combination

Reaching challenging populations by integrating services under a social franchise brand

By Stephano Gudukeya, PSI Zimbabwe This year’s AIDS Conference has been a whirlwind of activity and information. One topic that has come up time and again is linkages and the challenges involved with connecting people to the services they need. It seems like a no-brainer – when services are integrated, it’s easier for people to

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Social and structural drivers

Scaling up proven biomedical and behavioral interventions isn’t enough

Social and structural drivers of the HIV epidemic: what’s the buzz about?

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Circumcision and celebrities

Popular Zimbabwe musician Jah Prayzah signing the  Pride Board  at the male circumcision site soon after  getting circumcised in February this year, as part of a PSI campaign to break down social barriers around and generate demand for Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision. (Credit: PSI)

PSI’s award winning ad campaign for voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) and a new collection of papers on the quality, sustainability, and demand for (VMMC).

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A Winning Strategy: Investing in Local Heroines

By Karl Hofmann, President & CEO, PSI

When you invest in local heroines, women win.

Despite all the systemic challenges women and children face around the world, we’ve learned that investing in local heroines who provide education and resources can help tear down barriers and save lives.

Here is an impact primer that shows how investing in local heroines helps PSI get results for women and children.

Local heroines trained in community health services save children’s lives.In many countries, mothers are unable to access health care for their children to treat preventable but deadly diseases like malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea. We can shift that equation by deploying local health workers. In Cameroon, 48% of children received diarrhea treatment in areas served by community health workers vs. 7% of children in other areas with no community health workers.

Local heroines are effective champions for social change.There is often stigma associated with family planning activities. In Zimbabwe, where women are embarrassed to purchase female condoms, local heroines like hairdresser Tears Wenzira are distributing them in beauty salons. In fact, more than one million female condoms are distributed through this network of 2,500 hairdressers across the country.

Local heroines help keep mothers alive during childbirth.In the next 24 hours, 931 women will die worldwide from preventable pregnancy-related causes. In Pakistan, more than three-quarters of births take place at home, which is high-risk for maternal mortality. A pilot voucher program – where trained outreach workers recruit pregnant women from low-income households to receive subsidized reproductive health services from private health providers – increased prenatal clinic care by 16%, health care-facility based deliveries by 20% and postnatal care by 35%.

As you can see, PSI is committed to measuring our impact. And we’ve learned that investing in local heroines provides extraordinary returns on your investment.

Will you invest in a local heroine?

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Empowering Women with the Female Condom

By Beth Skorochod, Senior Technical Advisor at PSI. This originally appeared on the USAID Impact blog.

RH Councillor Jonathan Kabanda in a councilling session with client Pauline Phiri at SFH Obote Site, Livingstone, Zambia. Photo credit: PSI

Believe it or not, the female condom is a controversial tool in the arsenal againstHIV transmission. Donors argue that it’s expensive and not widely used. Women complain that it’s too big and hard to insert. What no one can argue is that it works.

Female condoms are the only woman-initiated method available that offers dual protection from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. Studies have shown that the female condom is at least as effective as the male condom in reducing the risk of contracting STIs and can reduce the per-act probability of HIV infection by 97 percent. Studies fromMadagascarBrazilKenyaIndia and the United States demonstrate that female condom promotion and use increases the total number of protected sex acts.

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Lovemore: The Story of a Father in Zimbabwe

Most couples don’t make getting tested for HIV part of their wedding plans. But when single parents Lovemore and Fungai got engaged, they decided it was a good idea before blending their families. Zimbabwe, where they live, is one of countries hardest hit by HIV. 

Even still, they were shocked when the counselor at PSI’s New Start center gently told them that their test results weren’t the same. While Fungai tested HIV negative, Lovemore was diagnosed with the disease. This is their story.


Lovemore is a truck driver from Harare, Zimbabwe. “My son stays with his grandmother because I travel so much,” says Lovemore. “But I’m glad I can come home to him and to Fungai, who I hope to marry this year.”

Lovemore met Fungai a year ago through her aunt. “We had so much in common – both in our thirties, divorced with a child,” says Fungai, who lives with her daughter.

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PSI/Zimbabwe Clinics Target At Risk Populations in Zimbabwe

By Dr Karin Hatzold, MPH, Deputy Country Director, PSI/Zimbabwe

DSC_556121 May 2013 (Zimbabwe) It looks like any other day at the New Start clinic in downtown Harare – a waiting area packed with clients about to be served by the team of 30 health care providers working at this site.

The PSI/Zimbabwe clinic offers services including HIV testing and counselling,  a range of family planning methods, TB screening and diagnostic services, rapid CD4 cell count testing , HIV risk reduction counselling and male and female condoms.

But today is different. The site just opened its doors to HIV positive clients requiring treatment and care.  The services, provided by a friendly team of doctors and nurses, are designed to serve those most vulnerable to HIV and least likely to have access to the highly active  antiretroviral treatment  (HAART ) services  they seek.  These clients include sex workers, their families, discordant couples (where one partner is HIV positive and the other is HIV negative), pregnant HIV positive mothers  and other vulnerable groups with difficulty accessing HIV treatment services in the public or private health sector.

This new treatment program, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), addresses the health needs of key populations currently not adequately met by the existing government-run health delivery system.

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