Femidom use on the rise

2016-02-25 06:00

In a statement released by the City of Cape Town’s Health Directorate, it was revealed that there has been a marked increase in the number of female condoms distributed via its network of clinics and community outreach campaigns.

In 2015, more than 1,9 million female condoms were distributed in the eight city health sub-districts, compared with 1,72 million in 2014.

“The figures are encouraging. It means that more women are becoming aware of the availability of the condoms. There are some challenges, like the fact that one female condom costs the same as eight male condoms.

“It is also more difficult to demonstrate how to use them properly.

“If condom manufacturers are able to address these challenges, we would be able to put more women in control of their own health and wellbeing,” said health mayoral committee member Councillor Siyabulela Mamkeli.

During 2015, City Health distributed nearly 54 million male condoms and treated a total of 42 713 sexually transmitted infections (STIs), down from 43 190 in 2014.

“We continue to face a number of challenges around STI treatment. While there has been a slight drop in the number of cases, it would be too simplistic and naive to attribute it solely to increased treatment and condom use.

“People have been known to travel to access STI treatment outside their areas because they fear being stigmatised. Others simply refuse to get help for the same reason. And of course many STIs don’t have significant symptoms and therefore remain undiagnosed for a long time. “We are in a position where the numbers are very encouraging, but we have to step up our education and awareness campaigns,” Mamkeli said.

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