Zimbabweans use 100 million condoms in 2016

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OVER 100 million condoms were distributed in 2016 up from 80 million in 2014 during the same period, the ministry of health has said.

Information from the ministry says 109. 5 were used last year. According to the ministry, 105 million male and 4.5 million female condoms were distributed, with the female condom uptake remaining low.

According to UN data, Zimbabwe is ranked as the 10th highest in condom use out of 37 countries with Amenia on number (1), Swaziland (2), Nigeria (3), Ukraine (4), Belize (5), Mauritius (6), Gabon (7), Lesotho (8), Haiti (9) and Zimbabwe (10).

According to the ministry, the use of condoms as a safe sex practise has helped the country lower the number of new HIV infections.

National Aids Council says HIV infections were cut by half for adults between 2009 and 2015 and by 30% among children from 2010 to 2015.

HIV and AIDS related mortality rates also dropped by 30% for adults and children by 2015.

In Zimbabwe nearly 1.5 million are living with HIV in a country of 13 million people.

On Valentine Day the country will join the rest of the World in celebrating International World Condom day under the theme “Always in Fashion”.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said it is committed to ensuring the promotion of condoms which World Health Organisation and UNIAIDS endorsed as one of the most proven high-impact HIV prevention interventions.

“The use of either male of female condom have added advantage of also being a family planning method which prevents unplanned pregnancies,” said the statement.

The Health Care Foundation Zimbabwe (HCFZ)’s position is that condoms remain a key component of high-impact HIV prevention programmes.

“This is not the time to reduce the funding for condoms but actually to increase it,” says HCFZ.

Condoms in the country are distributed for free by the government and some NGOs.