By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
Masvingo – The Masvingo Key Populations held their quarter stakeholders review meeting at the Masvingo civic centre hall on Thursday where there was a great concern over the low uptake of the female condom.
Different stakeholders were part of meeting.
In an interview PSI Programs manager, Mike Chipepera said the female condom is still not very popular among females.
“The uptake of the female condom is still low but the condom was introduced a long time ago and this is very worrisome as the female condom should be used especially by those who are at a greater risk of contacting sexually transmitted diseases.
This might be because people still do not have the knowledge about the usage of the condom and the fact that it is strenuous to wear, makes it less popular with the females and they prefer having their partners wearing the male condom,” he said.
There are peer mobilisers who have been trained to make sure they teach people about contraception and use of the female condom.
“We have enhanced peer mobilisers who go out there and help advertise the female condom, we give them both the male and the female condom but still the uptake is still low. So we are also now promoting the use of the female condom through morning sessions at our centres and make people familiarize with the condom and make them use it,” said Chipepera.
A program is being implemented that targets those who are at risk. Chipepera added that there is need to involve everyone in such programs.
One sex worker pointed out that she prefers having her clients use the male condom than the female condom, “The process of wearing the female condom is just too much and stressing. It will take time for the female condom to be popular within the females, so they should come with another model of the female condom which does not require much effort when wearing it,” she said.
The meeting was held to provide information on key populations clinical prevention and treatment interventions. There was also need to address the key population program challenges and concerns towards their uptake of health clinical services and to understand key populations public sector roll out programs in the selected and clinics.