Use other alternatives – Kenyan health authorities urge citizens amidst condom shortage

Kenyan health authorities have pleaded with the citizens to resort to other alternatives because the eastern African country is currently struggling with a nationwide condom shortage.

Popular condoms recalled over quality concerns

According to the BBC, Kenya needs 455 million condoms annually but the government only provides 1.6 million per month which is woefully insufficient.

It is reported that restaurants, hospitals and other public facilities which hitherto had free condoms in their toilets for people to take do not have the necessary commodity anymore.

The BBC reports that a government agency, the National Aids and STIs Control Programme (Nascop) has expressed concern over the shortage because the situation could be a setback for all their STIs Control efforts.

The shortage follows high taxes the government of Kenya has imposed on condoms even though they are usually donor-funded, the news outlet added.

Donors who import anti-HIV drugs reportedly clashed with the government earlier this year over the high taxes.

Meanwhile, in Ghana, an estimated 2,128 new HIV infections have been recorded in the Eastern region, according to the Ghana AIDS Commission.

The situation has been attributed to reckless and risky sexual behaviours including unprotected sexual intercourse involving young men and women in the region.

According to data by the AIDS Commission, the number of people living with HIV in the Eastern Region is 47,8166, and only 30,538 are accessing the antiretroviral drug.

We are seeing an increase in prevalence in even Eastern region. We are getting more people tested and we are getting more HIV cases. Our estimated new infections are about 2000. We know that about 80% of HIV transmission is through unprotected sex with an infected person so basically, the idea or arrows point to unprotected sex.

“Young people are engaging in risky sexual behaviour and also we are seeing that there is a lot more exposure of young people to a lot of sexually suggestive stuff like the contents we see on TV, contents we are watching on the internet, lifestyle that is being advocated out there by the older population so we see a lot of young women and young men engaging in risky sexual behaviour,” the Acting Eastern Regional Technical Coordinator of the Technical Unit of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Ebenezer Appiah Agyekum Abrokwah said.

He also bemoaned that many of these people who tested positive have refused to access antiretroviral drugs for management of the virus.

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