Lucie van Mens, Director of Program Development and Support for The Female Health Company, developer of FC2 female condoms to safeguard against HIV, was yet another victim of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 tragedy. Her colleagues at FHC issued the following statement upon hearing of her death:
“Her contributions to FHC were beyond measure. She was the driving force behind the dedicated female condom programs of our partners in Ghana (SWAA), Kenya (MCDF), Malawi (The Hunger Project), Mozambique (Pathfinder), South Africa (SUPPORT), Zimbabwe (ZNFPC) and Zambia (ZHECT).
Lucie was persistent in her quest to improve the sexual health of women and their families worldwide. She combined her drive, dedication and talents with a down-to-earth and hands-on approach. It was important to Lucie that these programs were tuned into the local context.
She always made sure that the skills and preferences of our local partners were valued and, together with her knowledge and extensive experience in programming, she helped them shape successful strategies to increase access to FC2 female condoms. She was passionate, determined and committed to making the female condom a tool that every woman at risk of HIV and unintended pregnancy could access. The Female Health Company will continue the female condom programs that she so carefully nurtured.
Lucie was an amazing and an inspiring person. She will be remembered and greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go to her partner, Gerd de Rycker, and all her family and friends at this tragic and difficult time.”