The Global Female Condom Day observed recently in Lagos, brought to the fore the need for the womenfolk to embrace the use of female condoms. Kelechi Amakoh and Hope Samson report.
In spite of its availability in the country, stakeholders are of the view that awareness on the use of female condoms is still very low among the women folk.
In their view, if it is embrace, most of the issues associated with women would be reduced drastically. At a recent event organised to mark the 2013 Global Female Condom Day, participants, were educated on the importance of using female condoms.
One of the leading voices and co-ordinator of Safe Haven Development Initiative (SHDI), Mrs. Margaret Ona advised Nigerian women not to shy away from of condoms, “As women we should all embrace the use of female condoms. It is our power to prevent sexually transmitted infections and will help us to make decisions on health issues,” she said.
Ona stated that the female condom had been in Nigeria but is yet to record high usage due to the cultural beliefs, “’ since 2007, female condoms have been in Nigeria but it has not been accepted because of our culture,” SHDI Co-ordinator said.
According to her, female condoms are made from polyurethane-a thin soft plastic and it is worn inside the birth canal used to prevent semen from getting into the womb, “It helps to protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases,” she added.
The event also provided the right atmosphere for SHDI to announced its readiness to partner with hair dressers and barbers as a way of drumming support and creating the needed awareness for women to see the need to use condoms. “We (SHDI) will be working on the government initiative on promoting female condom with barbers and hair dressers in Nigeria.
Every woman must go to a hair dresser to make her hair so as every man to his barber,” she said Also speaking at the event, Mrs. Sussie Metu, Secretary of Young Women Christian Association of Nigeria (YWCA) called on all women to embrace the use of female condoms. ”
As females, the female condom gives us the power and right to express ourselves sexually. We all need to use these condoms. It serves as protection from unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.”
Metu, a community development worker with over two decades of experience, advised women to ensure their husbands are informed properly in order not to cause any family problem.
Meanwhile, as part of activities to mark the Global Female Condom Day safe heavens distributed 2,000 free female condoms to females at Ogba area of Lagos state.