DO you know that there are male condoms and there are female condoms? Hearing it for the first time? Then you are not alone. Generally, condom is one product that is used more than it is known, most people wish to use it but are ashamed to purchase it, most people wish to know about it but are unwilling to discuss it, and above all, most women are unaware of the fact that there exist a condom designed for their anatomy.
Owing to the controversies surrounding condom use, ECEWS in collaboration with the State Ministry of Health under the auspices of United Nations population fund (UNFPA) organized a 2-day step down training in Akwa Ibom State to increase the overall awareness of condom programming and address the seeming controversies.
The training which was held on September, 28-29 Summit Complex, Uyo, had in attendance select HIV prevention officers from private health facilities. Issues on Male and female condoms, condom lubricant, attitude of condom vendors/providers, myths and conceptions of condoms were elaborated on.
The HIV/AIDS State Program Coordinator, Dr Markson, while appreciating the participants for acquiescing to being trained by non-medical personnel also expressed conviction that sooner than later, the medical/non-medical collaboration will yield fruits.
While comparing the many benefits of condom with its low usage in the state, He says; “it therefore becomes necessary on us to inject condom advocates into the society if we need to win this war, we need to bring down the prevalence rate of HIV in Akwa Ibom State. We just have to have so many of us promoting condoms in our little corners, in our private clinics, in our churches.”
The Executive Director, ECEWS, appreciated the participants for being part of the training. He however encouraged them to translate the knowledge gained into action by setting up confidence centers in their facilities to attract more youths to access HIV/FP services.
Valentine, a participant from State Ministry of Health, Akwa Ibom, has this to say; “Being a new person in the place, the training has really increased my awareness in Condom Programming. I have learnt about the barriers in Condom use. I have also learnt about the misconceptions, Condom forecasting, quantification and other things. I must commend ECEWS for what they have done, I wish they will continue this because it has really been of help to me.”
Imaobong Johnson representing Utibeima Medical Center explains how good she is in Condom Programming following this training. “They have told us the proper use of condom, those misconceptions others had and myself too, they have been able to clear those doubts and am very good at it now”. She says.
It is thus believed that this training will achieve its primary objective, that of preventing HIV transmission in Akwa Ibom and by extension, the world.