Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Health partners scale up grassroots condom supply


Health partners have embarked on a new condom distribution chain involving small community groups to complement the  normal channels.

Andrew Gasozi Ntwali, the national programme officer of HIV/Aids and Comprehensive Condom Programme at the UN Population Fund, said not only community-based groups will be considered in the revised supply chain, but all the concerned partners at various levels.

He said the role of stakeholders is also stipulated in the new standard operational procedures manual that was revised to accommodate the new supply chain.

Gasozi said there is growing awareness about condom use, which has increased demand for the gadgets.

“Previously, health centres were the last distribution outlet for free condoms, yet with the increasing demand, these alone cannot fully reach out to all the people in communities, except the few who only visit them when they are faced with other health complications,” he said.

Gasozi added that although there is a huge stock of condoms at the central warehouse, warehouses at the district level do not have enough.

Health facilities and partners at the district level have not distributed enough to their target populations and sometimes ration the available stock, probably because they are not aware of existing stock at the central level, according to Gasozi.

“We are now proposing that even work environments and all other places where people meet could be potential distribution points, especially since condoms do not need any prescription from a doctor,” he said.

The government, with health partners, especially UNFPA, USAID and Global Fund, are responsible for the procurement of condoms and yet, with the increasing demand, people at the district level do not get enough.

Society for Family Health (SFH), a Rwandan social marketing NGO and a member of the Population Services International, also distributes condoms (Prudence and Plasir brands) at subsidised prices and others freely throughout the country.

Between 2009 and 2012, a total of 77,962,520 condoms were distributed in the country, and more than 52 million were distributed through social marketing and more than 25 million condoms freely.

Also 2,673,057 condoms were distributed in Rwanda via social marketing between January and March 2013 through SFH.


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