MDG #9. A rubber in every pack of smokes.
A friend, and former colleague of mine Rod Nixon, has invented MDG #9. When it comes to inventions it must rank up there as one of the most counter intuitive, wonderfully practical, politically incorrect, unreasonable and great ideas around. MDG #9 it will be, just wait.
Nixon and the MDG guys don’t know it yet, but I do.
As a former PDT employee the inventor of MDG #9 should be expected to be somewhat off the mark when it comes to conventional wisdom and “accepted practice”. His blogged his famously zany idea, “Zen and the art of condom distribution” on the Lowy Interpreter in December 2009. Its a novel approach to condom distribution in communities vulnerable to the spread of HIV. It got no where – yet.
Nixon tells us that:
Unlike programs on HIV/AIDS awareness and condom use, which can be undertaken as logistical considerations permit, the distribution of condoms must occur on a permanent, sustainable and uninterrupted basis. In an effort to address this challenge, we are seeking support for a trial implementation and evaluation of a program aimed at distributing condoms to the village kiosk and roadside stall level of HIV-vulnerable weak states using ‘companion product’ packaging.
The objective is to attach condoms, in the factory, to a range of widely consumed products distributed to the periphery of the economies of HIV-vulnerable weak states (including sub-Saharan African states, PNG and Timor-Leste) using market networks. Products being considered include soap, telephone cards, razor blades and cigarettes (pictured).
The use of tobacco products, despite their known health risks, is proposed because of the level of consumption of cigarettes and the serious nature of the epidemic. From a harm-minimisation perspective, smoking is bad, but smoking and practising unsafe sex is worse.
Distributing condoms using ‘companion product’ packaging has the potential to (a) overcome distribution challenges, thereby contributing to both HIV/AIDS prevention and family planning objectives in weak states; (b) reduce stigma associated with purchasing condoms in the village and settlement, since the purchase of the condom will be masked in the purchase of the companion product; and (c) contribute to the normalisation of condoms in the community.
Yes smoking is bad for you. But no its not going to go away anytime soon. So instead of just concentrating health warnings on the pack, lets get a condom strapped to every pack. Then hopefully strapped to every “stand up” guy that buys one.
Bill Gates tells us that – “Fewer than one in five people at greatest risk of infection have access to effective prevention programs, such as education, condom distribution, prevention of mother to child HIV transmission, and HIV testing.”
So here is a proven distribution method via something all the boys in town like to buy. Who knows it may even curb population growth…… There is already a few billion more of us than we need on this planet.
If you need a demonstration pack drop me a line – prototypes have been manufactured at a hidden location in South East Asia.
Tags changing the world