By Olasunkanmi Onifade
Dr Kema Onu, State Coordinator, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), says although condoms are better alternative to the prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and unwanted pregnancy, its correct usage has remained a challenge.
Onu said this during a march to commemorate the World Condom Day on Thursday in Abuja with the theme ‘Safer is fun’.
He explained that although the Condom Day was supposed to hold on Feb. 13, it was commemorated earlier due to the forthcoming general elections in Nigeria as many citizens would be travelling to exercise their civic rights.
“The use of condoms remains a better alternative for the prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and HIV, and prevention of unwanted pregnancies.
“But the problem is, many still don’t know how to use the condom appropriately and that is why we are here to create awareness on the proper usage,” Onu said.
He said condom is highly effective strategy to reduce the risk of HIV transmission when used consistently and correctly.
Onu said there are no side effects to the use of condoms, noting however that there can be allergic reactions to some certain kind of condoms.
He said although the National Condom Strategy emphasised the deficit of 564 million annually in the country, saying with the consolidated efforts of government and other stakeholders the gap could be bridged.
The Medical Director of AHF, Dr Emmanuel Nwabueze, said the prevention is better than cure, adding that the foundation will continue in its efforts to create more awareness on the prevention of STDs.
He said in a way to reduce the rate of HIV and STDs in the country, the foundation had condom dispensers located at strategic locations in the FCT as well as five other states where it operates, including Kogi, Nasarawa, Benue, Anambara, Cross River States.
Nwabueze said condom were physical barriers that could reduce the risk of a sexual exposure to HIV because they are made of materials that do not allow the HIV virus to penetrate through them.
The State Nursing Coordinator, Mrs Christie Awunor, said many individuals were still ignorant on the proper usage, saying some still use their teeth or scissors to open condoms.
She said with the use of teeth or scissors, one could damage the condom which makes it ineffective.
The Advocacy and Marketing Manager, Mr Steven Aborisade, said the condoms would be distributed in Abuja, Kogi, Nasarawa, Anambra, Benue and Cross River States.