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N-MARC Launches Commercial Condom Partnerships

AED recently achieved a key milestone under the USAID/Nepal Social Marketing and Franchise Project AIDS, Reproductive Health (RH) and Child Survival (CS) project or "N-MARC", by establishing two strategic partnerships with local commercial sector condom distributors, Praxis Trade Pvt. Ltd. and Gayatra Store Enterprises. Using a matching-funds approach, these innovative public-private partnerships seek to increase the availability and accessibility of each distributor's condom brands in high-risk areas and among most-at-risk populations, in support of the Government of Nepal's National HIV/AIDS Strategy. Both companies have committed to invest approximately $50,000 towards this initiative.

This achievement represents a new era in social marketing in Nepal, whereby N-MARC enrolls and mobilizes commercial sector partners to invest their money, skills, and entrepreneurship to sell products/services that are of high social value. Besides providing matching financial support to the companies, N-MARC staff will provide technical assistance in the areas of marketing and distribution planning and brand rationalization.

AED anticipates the execution of a third agreement with another distributor in the coming days through which N-MARC will support the development of a new condom brand. AED looks forward to watching this program unfold over the coming months, and will document the successes, challenges, and outcomes. AED anticipates this program will be a market development model in the HIV/AIDS prevention arena that it can share with others. Additionally, AED plans to employ a similar approach for other public health products and services over the coming year.

Posted August 2007

Read more about the Nepal Social Marketing and Franchise Project (N-MARC) project