Monday, 09 September 2013 11:15

Condom distribution in Mpumalanga must improve

Written by  Senamile Phungula

The Sexual HIV Prevention Programme (Shipp) is currently supporting community-based organisations by improving their knowledge of condom distribution.

 

Phiwa Sondhlane, Shipp’s technical officer for health implementation said: “We are supporting community-based organisations to improve condom availability and also increase condom distribution in different distribution points.”

 

Sondhlane said Shipp wanted to address challenges associated with condom distribution in communities.

 

Shipp invited different community-based organisations and the Msukaligwa municipality’s health department. They discussed challenges regarding condom distribution. Some of the problems these groups experience around condoms are that there are no condoms at health facilities, there aren’t enough female condoms, people have negative attitudes towards condom usage and other people abuse condoms. For instance, it emerged that school children use condoms to tie around their school socks to keep them up.

 

Xoliswa Ntsele, a home-based carer for the organisation Thandolwethu said: “People still find it hard to talk about condoms and sexuality and they then develop negative attitudes towards condom usage.”

 

Siphesihle Nkosi, social mobilisation officer for the Department of Health, said: “People still don’t believe that condoms work and some don’t see the importance of using them, so we need to engage them more on this issue and emphasis the importance of using a condom.

 

Condoms prevent sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and they prevent pregnancy. They should be distributed in taverns, shops, entertainment areas and truck stops. Every health district has targets it must reach for condom distribution.

 

Shipp encouraged community-based organisations to report on distributed condoms intheir monthly reports and to send the reports to clinics.

 

Khiphile Shabalala, a project manager for the organisation Sizanani, which provides home-based care, said: “As home-based carers we need one standardised form for reporting, in which we can include everything we do, as well as condom distribution.”

 

Shipp recommends that the Department of Health review its reporting tools and appoint condom logistic officers who will oversee everything that has to do with condoms.

 

This article is courtesy of Health-e News Service.

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