WINDHOEK – The Tobias Hainyeko constituency AIDS Coordinating Committee in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Services and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) held a condom promotion and HIV testing event at Okuryangava on Saturday.
The other partners of this initiative were the Namibia Planned Parenthood Association, the Walvis Bay Corridor Group and the African Youth and Adolescent Network (AFRIYAN).
The Programme Specialist at UNFPA, Grace Hidinua, who is also responsible for the Condomise campaign told New Era that the event was more of a wellness activity and they hoped to reach at least 300 people.
The event was aimed at creating awareness on the correct use of condoms.
“We are promoting the use of condoms to anyone who is sexually active, but young people in particular,” said Hidinua. She explained that condoms offer dual protection as they protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted illnesses.
“We want to promote the consistent and correct use of condoms and to encourage as many people to be tested,” she added. People who know their HIV status are able to make better and informed choices.
“If a person is negative they will protect themselves from contracting HIV and if they are positive they reduce the chances of re-infection and infecting others,” said Hidinua.
Local artists were invited to perform at the event in order to attract more people to participate.
According to the UNFPA, estimated HIV incidence is higher in areas of highest population density, including the Khomas region (Windhoek) and the northern regions bordering Angola, Zambia, and Botswana. The epidemic is also characterised by urban hot spots that have high incidence and are located in the coastal towns and along the main road connecting northern and southern Namibia, according to UNFPA data.
Further, Namibia’s Condom Programme distributes approximately 27.7 million fully subsidised male and female condoms annually. Additional condoms are distributed through the commercial market and limited social marketing efforts.
Trends observed across three Demographic and Health Surveys indicate a high level of acceptance and utilisation of condoms, however disparities exist between urban and rural settings and among use by priority populations.
In Namibia, correct and consistent condom use continues to be low. There has not been any market research done on a regular basis by the Ministry of Health and Social Services which could help in determining current and future condom use trends particularly among young people, according to data from the UNFPA.
The condom promotion was the first of its kind in the Tobias Hainyeko constituency, according to Hidinua. “Our aim is to go from constituency to constituency,” she added.
2018-10-29 10:11:10 9 months ago