Ghana’s Ministry of Health (MOH) will distribute 1.3 million female condoms to women organizations, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders as part of strategies to increase the patronage of the condom in the country.
Mr Alban Bagbin, Minister of Health announced this in a speech read on his behalf by Dr Ebenezer Appiah-Dankyira, Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) on Wednesday during the national re-launch of the female condom at Ashaiman.
The re-launch was under the theme: “Female condom for double protection”.
Mr Bagbin stated that government in collaboration with its partners purchased the large amount of the female condom for distribution.
He noted that research conducted by partners on the usage of the female condom in Ghana revealed that after its launch in May 2000, females have not being using it as expected.
He indicated that as part of recommendation from the study team, stakeholders agreed that the MOH, GHS and other health organizations must intensify education and promotion of the use of the female condom.
He said research in other countries has shown that the use of the female condom was the only safe female initiated contraception that protects the female against unwanted pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).
Mr Bagbin said female condoms has several advantages including dual protection, easy usage, affordable, gives opportunity to women to control sexual activities as well as help save and enhance the lives of females in Ghana.
He urged women to make use of the condoms while advising men to encourage their female partners to utilize the product.
Mr Joseph Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, Greater Accra Regional Minister, said the re-launch provides the platform for self-reflection and stock taking for the past years since the first launch of the condom.
Mr Agbo noted that it was sad that after the launch 12 years ago, available data on its use in the Greater Accra Region shows that, only 463 women had utilized the female condom this year.
He expressed the hope that the re-launch will help in the integration of the female condoms into the country’s sector-wide policies as well as within HIV/AIDS programming.