Ghana News Agency (10.31.12)
Aids Weekly Plus
Ghana’s Ministry of Health (MOH) plans to distribute female condoms to women’s organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and other groups to encourage their use in the country. The announcement was made by Dr. Ebenezer Appiah-Dankyira, director general of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), who read a speech on behalf of the Minister of Health, Alban Bagbin, during a national relaunch of the female condom. The theme of the relaunch was “Female Condom for Double Protection.”
The speech stated that the government, in collaboration with partners, had procured a large number of female condoms for distribution and referred to research conducted by partners after the initial launch of the female condom in May 2000. The research indicated that women have not been using the condom, and the study team recommended that stakeholders, the Ministry of Health, and the Ghana Health Service should intensify education and promotion of the female condom.
Research in other countries has shown that the female condom was the only safe female initiated contraception that protects women from unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The speech listed the advantages of the female condom - dual protection, easy usage, affordable, providing women the opportunity to control sexual activities, and helping to save and enhance women’s lives - and urged women to use female condoms and advised men to encourage their female partners to do so.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister Joseph Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo noted that since the original launch 12 years ago, data show that in the Greater Accra region, only 463 women had used the female condom in 2012. He hopes that the relaunch will help integrate use of female condoms into Ghana’s sector-wide polices and in its HIV/AIDS programming.