UNFPA launches nationwide condoms campaign
The United Nations Population Fund UNFPA in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Planned Parenthood Association of Liberia, Federation of Liberian Youth and other partners has launched a six-month National Condom Promotion Campaign in Monrovia under the theme, “Use Condoms, Stay Safe”.
Hundreds of school children were invited to the launch and educated on the importance of practicing safe sex thru the usage of condoms to avoid contracting HIV/AIDS, Ebola, teenage or unwanted pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases.
Performing the launch Thursday, June 4, 2015 at the Monrovia City Hall, Liberia’s Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Julia Duncan-Cassell said, research has shown that in Liberia, there is low usage of condoms.
She said three out of every 10 men use condoms, while two out of every 10 women in Liberia use condoms during sexual intercourse. The Gender Minister added that 90 percent of Liberians with multiple sexual partners don’t use condoms, while only 23 percent of the country’s population adheres to safe sex practice by using condoms.
“Four out of every 10 girls”, Minister Duncan-Cassell said, “are pregnant before age 18.” She noted that women and girls have limited negotiation power in deciding where or when to have sex and men and boys are more likely to use condoms than women and girls.
“A nationwide condoms use and promotion campaign is paramount in improving the lives of the people. We are committed to ensuring that condoms are available, affordable and accessible”, the Gender boss said.
Liberian-born Nigerian movie star, Joseph Van Vicker, who is Goodwill Ambassador for the Federation of Liberian Youth, in a video message to young people of his motherland said, “I need you to use condoms so you can prevent yourselves from sicknesses. Use condoms, stay safe; that’s all I want to say.”
UNFPA-Liberia Officer-In-Charge, Dr. Oluremi Sogunro, commended the Government of Liberia for successfully eradicating the Ebola Virus out of the country and also lauded current efforts to resuscitate the economy.
Dr. Sogunro said among people with multiple sexual partners in Liberia 23 percent males practice safe sex by using condoms, while 19 percent women do the same.
Liberia’s Deputy Minister of Health and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Francis Ketteh, said in most Liberian traditional and cultural practices, sex is not discussed in public or at an early stage in life, something which he said, is wrong.
Dr. Ketteh narrated: One day after work I went home and sat with my nine years old daughter and discussed sex with her but my wife thought I was going crazy; one day while I was at work, when she saw her menstruation, my daughter called me and said, ‘daddy, you remember what we discussed the other day’, I asked her what, and she replied, it is coming. I told her to go into the bathroom and instructed what to do.” Edited by Jonathan Browne