The Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) is moving around Bulawayo suburbs distributing condoms as part of its Sexual Health and Reproduction campaign.
The week-long campaign was launched on Monday and started yesterday in Mzilikazi suburb and moved to Silwane Youth centre in Pumula suburb.
ZNFPC is targeting to distribute 30 000 male condoms and 5 000 female condoms over this week.
According to the National Aids Council (NAC), female condom uptake remains low in Bulawayo province.
The NAC 2021 annual provincial report shows that close to 3 million male condoms were distributed compared to only 90 000 in Bulawayo last year.
Marketing and Communications Officer for Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council for Bulawayo and Matabeleland North Provinces, Mission Gwafa said:
People choose male condoms because of the social and cultural beliefs that make it a man’s duty to source condoms.
And there is always a stigma around women who buy and carry around condoms.
Women depend on their male counterparts for condoms and even if they collect or buy them, they choose male condoms.
Gwafa said this year’s condom distribution was targeting youths and they were moving around youth centres. He said:
The main aim is to empower people especially adolescents on sexual rights and their choices in opting for safer sex.
And during the campaign, we will explore how the condom cuts across all HIV prevention strategies.
The program for youth centres will spread through the 15 youth centres in the western suburbs of Bulawayo where free services will be offered.
The program aims to destigmatise condoms, empower young people to make the right choices on sexual issues and improve access to quality free condoms.
We will also be offering free IUVD and free Sayana Press contraceptives to all eligible and needy women and girls of reproductive age.
Condoms are different from other contraception methods in that they provide dual protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV as well as unintended pregnancies.