In 1998, Operations research on the Ibadan Market-Based Distribution Project in Nigeria investigated the feasibility of a contraceptive distribution system using traders in the traditional markets to sell pills, condoms, and foaming tablets. Two hundred and thirty-five female and male traders were trained and supplied with contraceptives, malaria treatments, and oral rehydration salts to sell at low prices in 39 markets. The Ibadan Market Based Distribution project used the agent supervisors, a cadre introduced to reduce the problems of drug supply, monitoring and supervision of the market agents. They were strategically placed to supervise the market agents and to ensure sustainability.
The concept of the delivery system that was tested drew on both social marketing and community-based distribution (CBD) models. As is characteristic of social marketing, the distributors were in the commercial sector and were supplied with contraceptives at subsidized rate to sell to traders and customers that come to the market.
In 2005, the Association for Reproductive and Family Health, with support from UNFPA and in collaboration with 10 indigenous NGOs and LGAs in 5 Nigerian states (Bauchi, Edo, Gombe, Ogun and Plateau) implemented a project, using the community based distribution of RH/FP services intervention approach. The project titled “Increasing Access to Quality RH/FP Services at the Grassroots in Five Nigerian States” was aimed at contributing to the reduction of maternal morbidity and mortality by making Reproductive Health and Family Planning services available, accessible and affordable to the community members.
The CBD project was implemented in rural and disadvantaged communities using trained male and female community volunteers for the provision of non-prescriptive contraceptives, the treatment of minor ailments and referral for prescriptive contraceptives. The intervention approaches included Community mobilization, Advocacy, Capacity building and Empowerment, Service provision, Male involvement, Behaviour Change Communication, Monitoring and supervision, Evaluation, Documentation and Dissemination.
The CBD Approach was able to increase access to a wider target groups (women of reproductive age, youths and men) much more than with the PHC outlets thus increasing acceptability of FP.