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MOBILE PREVENTIVE SERVICES PLATFORM

Increasing condoms,contraceptives and sanitary pads accessibility and availability to young people using USSD,Web and mobile Applications

Photo of Innocent
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Condoms accessibility to the most risky population (Youths, young women and girls) that need condoms is still an issue in most Afircan countries (Tanzania included). Social norms and stereo-types commonly prevent people who are in need of condoms to walk into the shops and buy them; as they are met with judgmental responses and looks; sometimes even from the shop sellers themselves.
Imagine, an 18 years old girl walking in a shop and asking for a condom. 

The idea is about making condom,sanitary pads and contraceptive pills more accessible to young people who need them most in my country, Tanzania, using the following methods:

1.Using SMS based technology to enable young people to order and get a specific type and number of condoms that they need delivered at a location of their choice;

2.Using a mobile application (Android application) to enable young people who need condom services to purchase condoms; and choose the location and the time for the condoms to be delivered.

3.Developing condom ATM machines that will be placed in hot-spot areas for easier condom purchasing. (eliminating the face to face interaction between condom seller and buyer).

We will initially start with selling condoms during late hours (from 1800hrs until late morning hours),when most shops are closed, while this is the time at which most of the sexual activities happen in risky hot spots.

Plans exist to scale up the product to include such items as sanitary pads and emergence contraceptive pill.

Target customers
-Young individuals (aged 15 to 49 years of age) who are sexually active, and those with multiple sexual partners and risky behaviors such as bar maids, female sexual workers,
-Gender: Sexually active men and women (especially adolescents and young women in their reproductive age, sexual female workers and men having sex with men)
-Income: The product is targeted to people with low to mid level income who can purchase a condom at an affordable cost.
-Education: Target customers are those who can at least read and write; or use a mobile phone.
-Location: Targeted to people in peri-urban and urban areas (and mostly also risky areas or the so called hot-spots for risky sexual activities such as bars and guest houses, local brew spots).

Competitive advantages:

-Providing a variety of types of condoms for a customer's choice, as opposed to free condoms which are usually of only one type. Targeted young people in semi-urban and urban areas prefer brands with more features (scent,studds,thinner) than the freely available condoms subsidized by the government.
-Ensuring that the condoms/contraceptives/sanitary pads are delivered at a desired location as requested by the customer, at any time. (The condoms/contraceptives/pads will "follow" the customer). Our delivery will be reliable, and timely as per customer's specifications.
-Additionally, the business will use personnel who are well trained in customer care, and the importance of safe sex, therefore they will treat the customers very well, without any judgment or bias towards them
-Also the customer will also have a chance of specifying what type of a delivery person they prefer (e.g. male, mid age)-as opposed to shop outlets where the customer doesn't have a choice of a seller.

5 comments

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Photo of Lauryn White

I think the idea of a condom dispenser that operates like an ATM is very innovative. I think it will also be effective because it is convient and allows for privacy in the process.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Hi @innocent, this is a really interesting idea that combines both technology (ATM and SMS) and "meeting youth where they are" per Innocent  post.

I hope you'll repost the idea during the ideation phase so that you can get more comments on the idea. I also find your research insights very valuable: social norms and stereotypes. I had a question for you: Is it generally girls and women who purchase condoms? Is it because they want to have them to make sure to be protected if they partner don't have any? Thanks!

Photo of Innocent

Hi Anne-Laure Fayard Thanks much for the comment. Usually, it is presumed that it is the responsibility of a man to buy condoms (of he wants to have protectes sex), this project will enable even girls to purchase condoms discretely even when their partners do not want to buy the condoms, hence protecting themselves.

Photo of Ashley Tillman

Hi Innocent, thanks so much for sharing this idea! Is this something you are working on, or an idea that inspired you? Looking forward to learning more.

Photo of Innocent

Hey ashley, this is something thati am currently working on.