The problem: lack of access to family planning
There are 214 million women and girls in the developing world who want contraception, but can’t access or afford it.  Those who do have access often haven’t been educated about the range of healthcare and family planning options available, or face barriers such as religious, social, and cultural norms.
These women run high risks of complications during pregnancy — even death. They often drop out of school and struggle to financially care for their families. The burden to break the cycle of extreme poverty grows.
The solution: consumer-powered healthcare
When we approach health care from the consumer’s perspective, individuals are empowered to make their own best health decisions, ensuring they have access to the educational and professional opportunities they want. As the largest youth population in history reaches reproductive age, there’s a huge opportunity to teach young people about their contraceptive choices.
How Population Services International works
For 50 years, PSI has been committed to using measurement and evaluation to identify and develop the most impactful, innovative, and cost-effective solutions to some of the most challenging health issues in the developing world. They use television, radio, print, social media, and one-on-one outreach to educate and promote adoption of healthy behaviors. They also work in partnership with local healthcare workers to leverage existing infrastructures and broaden their impact.
PSI believes that universal health coverage can only be achieved by taking a business approach to saving lives. Borrowing a model most commonly used in for-profit enterprises, PSI oversees 21 healthcare franchise networks that provide products and services to millions of people each year. Their 10,000+ franchisees increase access to affordable care, reducing the strain on overstretched healthcare systems and creating economic opportunities for local communities.
To maximize impact, PSI targets health care issues that are cost-effective to treat, yet often remain overlooked in the developing world. In 2018, their spectrum of accomplishments included:
- Inserting almost 2 million long-acting reversible contraceptives (including implants and IUDs)
- Distributing 50 million insecticide-treated bed nets, 620,000 diarrhea treatment kits, and over 5.17 million male and female condoms
- Providing over 2 million HIV/STI testing and counseling sessions
- Supplying over 2 million HIV self-test kits to increase the adoption of HIV prevention and treatment
PSI strives for the double bottom line of stronger health outcomes and self-sustaining revenue.