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03.12.2005 General News

Patronage of female condoms low

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Sunyani, (B/A) Dec. 3, GNA- Pharmacists and Chemical Sellers operating within the Sunyani Municipality have expressed concern about the low patronage of female condoms in the municipality. "Patronage of female condom has gone down. There was good patronage in 2001 and 2002 when they were first introduced but in 2005 people don't buy at all. I saw a certain lady on one Saturday who bought one female condom but even with that, she was advising people to use it as a bracelet," says Yaw Oppong of Seinti Chemist.

This revelation came to light when the GNA spoke with some Pharmacists and Chemical Sellers in an interview on Friday, to find out the level of patronage of condoms among the populace as a measure to check the spread of HIV/AIDS as the world marked World Aids Day recently. Most of the women interviewed cited difficulties in having to insert condom as being the factor, which discouraged them from their patronage.

"The female condom, unlike the male type, are easier to use. The insertion procedure for the female condom seems difficult for lot of women," said Mr. Daniel Ohene, a Pharmacist with the Green Light Pharmacy in Sunyani. He stated that some women also harbour the fear that during sexual intercourse the male counterpart may not penetrate into the female condom thereby putting the woman at a very high risk of acquiring the AIDS disease.

For the male condom, all the respondents said there was high patronage of it on the market with the age group (18-25 years) and the working class (25-55yrs) been identified as the group with the highest purchase rate. The respondents said, they sometimes counsel and interrogate minors between the ages of 13 and 16 years to ascertain whether or not they were sent by the elderly to buy condoms or otherwise. Old men of about 65 years were also mentioned to be patronizing the male condoms. Many of those interviewed said a sizable number of people said customers still felt shy to enter into shops to buy a condom particularly when there are a lot of people in a shop.