Posted on Fri 15 Jun 2018, 01:56 PM

The United Nations Population Fund has set up non-traditional condom outlets around refugee settlements in Cross River.

The intervention is to increase access to condoms in communities that have refugees.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the exercise, which was carried out in Ikom, was targeted at Obanliku, Boki, Akamkpa and Etung Local Government Areas of the state.

The Project Coordinator for UNFPA, Dr. Idowu Araoyinbo, in an interview with NAN on Friday said the global body did a mapping to identify the health care providers close to the benefiting communities.

Araoyinbo said that volunteers, including refugees, were engaged as focal persons to distribute and enlighten people in their wards on the benefits and proper use of condoms.

“We organised town hall meetings, which served as information dissemination points to the communities on the availability of condoms in strategic locations and how they could utilise them effectively,’’ he said.

Araoyinbo said the body also carried out capacity building which served as a platform to link the volunteers to the patent medicine vendors, the hot spots and the health care facilities where the condoms would be picked up.

He said a similar project had been carried out in the past, which was not sustainable.

The official, however, said that after carrying out a joint needs assessment, it was discovered that there was high level of ‘transactional sex’ without access to condoms in the communities.

“We have done this before but we are improving on it; it is like a stop gap response.

“We discovered that there was high level of ‘survival sex’ in these communities and the women were not protected,’’ he said.

He said the volunteers picked up the condoms from the health care centres, took them to the communities where they were given to the patent medicine vendors that already had dispensers available.

The dispensers, he said, were for control and were placed conspicuously in patent medicine stores so that the condoms were made available free of charge to communities.

NAN

 

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