By Annie Zulu
A SHORTAGE of condoms has hit Eastern Province for the past three months, Provincial HIV and AIDS Coordination Adviser Emmanuel Chama has said.
And Mr Chama observed that the shortage of condoms in the region was an indicator that people in the region were using the material to prevent the spread of HIV and other STIs.
He said the region had been recording a reduction in the HIV prevalence, saying this could be attributed to consistent condom use.
“The shortage of condoms in the province is a sign that people are aware of the importance of using protection,” Mr Chama said.
Meanwhile, Mr Chama mentioned Chipata, Mambwe and Chadiza districts as the worse hit by the shortage of the sexual protective wear.
He noted that about two million condoms were required to meet the current demand for condoms in the Province.
“Eastern Province has run been facing a condom crisis for the past three months and so the two million condoms will meet the demand in non-health facilities that have been reporting a shortage,” he said.
Mr Chama stressed the need to enhance procurement of condoms, and called on other stakeholders to intervene and help procure more condoms to meet the demand for the commodity.
He further called for enhanced sensitization efforts in fighting stigma in the region.
Mr Chama observed that people who stigmatize and discriminate against those with HIV were ignorant about the transmission and treatment of HIV.
He stated that with adequate knowledge people would not discriminate but encourage one another to get tested in order to take the next necessary step to prevent the transmission of HIV.