Kwesi Yawson

Kwesi Yawson - 2016 Nominee
Position: General Manager (Sales & Distribution)
Organization: DKT International, Inc.
He leads a team of sales reps who he has strategically placed in country to ensure family planning commodities are available, accessible and at the right affordable prices in every possible channel. – Nominator
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I am a seasoned sales person employing my skills in the "profit world" to improve access to family planning commodities and also towards global sexual and reproductive health, in areas such as contraception, STIs & HIV prevention, abortion, maternal health & more. In the five years that I have been working with the Ghana office of DKT International Inc., I have ensured my team members (which comprise of eight regional sales managers and 40 Regional Community Representatives (RCRs) ) make products available in a lot of traditional (pharmacies, licensed chemical shops and hospitals and maternity homes) and non-traditional outlets (drinking spots, barber shops and supermarkets). Aside making the products available, the RCRs educate individuals and groups within their communities on SRHR

What sparked your passion for family planning?

The increasing rate of unsafe abortions related deaths, the increasing rate of teenage pregnancies that led to the girl child dropping out of school, the not-decreasing-enough HIV prevalence rates in Ghana, the unavailability of commodities and the fact that there are not enough young people working to ensure our fellow young people are educated to make right choices with regards Sexual and Reproductive Health - those are the things that sparked my passion for family planning

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your family planning efforts, and what have you done to overcome it?

Pricing and attitude: there are highly subsidized commodities on the market and entities like my organization that has to be sustainable by recovering cost of commodities struggle. We have introduced some commodities that can fetch some "profit" to "support" the commodities that we can not recover cost on. On attitudes, we have put together a team of regional community reps who are doing community education and some drama troupes putting together some plays to drum home messages towards change

What is your (country/region/city)’s biggest challenge in family planning, and how can it be addressed?

Funding. Funding is the biggest challenge in family planning in my country. Ghana has recently been declared a lower middle income status country and donors, as far as I know, have reduced in number. There is a lot of work still to be done and a lot of NGOs working towards promoting family planning have not succeeded yet at being sustainable and so donor support/funding is still needed despite the "attained" income status.

What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years?

I want to see family planning commodities available, accessible and affordable to as many people as possible. I want to be able to deliver eight (8) million Couple Year of Protection (CYPs) by way of sales of family planning commodities. I want to see the uptake of long term family planning methods improve. I want to see men encouraging their wives to take up one method or the other.

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