Bulawayo councillors have advocated for the promotion of the female condom as a way of assisting in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
According to the latest council minutes, the local authority’s health committee deliberated on the unpopularity of the female condom (Femidom) in comparison with the male one.
The councillors noted that women should be encouraged to use the Femidom as a way of empowering themselves in the fight against HIV/AIDS and STIs.
Latest statistics from the National Aids Council (NAC) show that Bulawayo has continued to record an increase STI cases in both sexes.
During the first quarter 957 men got infected compared to 1 678 females. The figures went down for both men and women as 679 and 1 193 cases were recorded respectively during the second quarter.
Of the total 7 455 men and women who acquired STIs during the nine months, 484 of them were also found to be HIV-positive and 306 of them were women.
The minutes read that the male condom was being distributed more in public buildings and workplaces.
“Councillor S. Moyo was concerned about low promotion of the female condom (Femidom). Unlike the male condom, Femidom was not popular. Councillor J. Ndlovu felt that most women were shy to collect or use the female condom. Women must be encouraged to use the female condom as it empowered them,” the minutes read.
“The Chairperson, Councillor S. Mutanda, noted that the female condom had a very low usage. The male condom was distributed more compared to the female condom. In public buildings it was common to have a male condom being distributed.”
The Director of Health Services, Dr Edwin Sibanda said efforts would be made to promote the Femidom effectively.