UGANDA SEX WORKERS DEMAND FREE AND QUALITY CONDOMS

WONETHA staff demonstratin proper condom dressing

WONETHA staff demonstrating proper condom dressing

Ugandan sex workers have insisted that they prefer the Government continue to distribute free condoms.

Women’s Organisation Network for Human Rights Advocacy (WONETHA), an organisation that was founded, managed and led by sex workers in 5 districts of Uganda have said that as promoters of condom use, availability of free condoms is one way of fighting HIV/AIDS.

“Condoms should be available free of charge like drugs. A man cannot give you Ush1000 especially law income earner and you chase them away or use some of that money to buy a condom. You cannot tell him to buy a condom either!,”  If we are looking forward to ending AIDS we MUST provide free quality condoms to those who need them. Daisy Nakaato, the executive director WONETHA said.

These revelations were made during the Condom Communication Coordination meeting that was held at Protea Hotel recently. During the meeting, some partners raised a complaint on why Ugandans don`t use condoms.

Feedback from the Condom Unit in the Ministry of Health suggests that Ugandans prefer that they improve the quality of the condoms that are distributed free of charge.

As a result, people have rejected the poor quality condoms that the Government distributes for free.

The Condom Unit however says improving the quality of the free condoms would have a cost implication.

Some partners in the fight against HIV however prefer that the quality be improved but at a small cost to the user.

After the previous meeting on condom communication coordination which was held at Ministry of Health, challenges like condoms bursting, unavailability of condoms in some places and condoms not reaching the end users.

After this meeting, it was agreed that another meeting where implementing partners share how the y do outreaches on condom promotion and the challenges they get.

Some partners like Mariestopes Uganda, Pace, Uganda Health Marketing Group (UHMG) and the National Condom Coordinator advised that it is better to promote condom buying than giving them out freely because Ugandans think that free condoms are of poor quality.

The partners say they have consulted with different people willing to buy condoms.

The purpose of the meeting was to develop and agree on condom promotion in Uganda in collaboration with ministry of health and partners in behavioral communication change.

WONETHA promotes and encourage safer sex practices among sex workers most especially among those in slums areas who cannot afford to buy condoms.

WONETHA has called on the Government of Uganda partners to support us advocate for condoms which are free, affordable, and accessible and of good quality to end new HIV infections and transmission.

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