Vending machines used for contraceptives in developing countries

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Helpdesk Query:

To what extent have vending machines / condom machines been used to make contraceptives
available in developing countries? In particular, “smart” vending machines that use the “Internet
of Things” to report when they need restocking, or include internet enabled tablets for information
or video chat.

  • If there is limited experience of doing this, to what extent have vending machines been
    used to make other health commodities available in developing countries?
  • What do we know about how successful this was?

The evidence found for this report shows that vending machines have been used to make contraceptives available to vulnerable groups in low and middle income countries in a number of programmes. Examples from different parts of the world include: A six-year HIV prevention pilot programme started in 2009, which plans to install 100 CVMs using mobile phone-based technology in several bars and nightclubs in Tanzania. This year, the United Nations Population Fund donated even more CVMs to be distributed in areas with the highest HIV prevalence rates in Zambia; CVMs are due to be installed in Thai shopping malls and schools as part of the “Condoms for Teens” programme; Brazil plans to install several CVMs in all schools, and a national competition was launched for students to design “better” versions for use in the future. An El Salvador pilot provided the only project available to include both CVMs and oral contraceptive machines.

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