Conference on Female Condom opens in Accra

Category: General News 11

Dr Angela El-Adas, Director General, Ghana AIDS Commission has said that the Commission is committed to renewing and ensuring the availability of female condoms in the country.

She said the Commission would continue to support the Ghana Health Service in ensuring the training of service providers within the health sector as well as civil society organisations.

Dr El-Adis, made this observation at the opening of a two-day female condom conference organized by the Society for Women and AIDS in Africa, (SWAA), Ghana on the theme, “Prevention, Pleasure and Protection”.

The conference is to contribute to the re-awakening and ensuring sustained female condom procurement and advocacy leading to effective promotion and distribution in the country, as well as helping to  improve reproductive health and rights.

It was also to encourage the correct and consistent use of female condoms, and  to increase uptake of the condoms nationwide, thereby contributing to the achievement of the national target of reducing new HIV infections by half by 2015.

Dr El-Adis said  female condoms were very important since they gave women greater control over safe sex negotiation,  protected them from sexually transmitted infections including, HIV in cases where their partners were not receptive to using the male condom, and provided an additional option of contraception for couples.

She said 60  per cent of women in Sub Saharan Africa were affected by HIV, while 56 per cent of affected persons in Ghana were women, adding that women in sub Saharan Africa were not only at risk of HIV/AIDS but were the most affected by the virus.

Dr El-Adis assured that the female condoms had been tested and recommended and were 95 per cent secure all the time when used correctly and consistently as they protected women with the sense of security and from unwanted and unintended pregnancies.

She urged all to support the reproductive rights of women, ensure the rights of women for HIV prevention, saying “”we must all wake up to promote, distribute, educate and use the female condoms””.

Ms Nancy Ansah, President of SWAA Ghana said evidence had shown that Female Condom promotion, usage and accessibility had reduced drastically around the world, since there had not been any sustainable and integrated advocacy, promotion and distribution plan.

She said the role of the female condom could not be underestimated since it was the only female device against unwanted pregnancies, HIV and other STIs.

SWAA Ghana is a branch of SWAA International, a pan African women’s organisation established in 1990 which had since been actively involved in education and advocacy on HIV and AIDS and works in all the 10 regions of Ghana.

It seeks to empower women to achieve quality sexual and reproductive health and rights by advocating through sensitization and engagement of the general public, to influence policies on sexual and reproductive health services and rights, contribute to the reduction of new HIV infection, stigma and discrimination and create a favourable policy environment.

Source: GNA

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