Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Botswana tops sub-Saharan Africa in condom distribution

Botswana is ranked as one of the best countries in terms of the number of condoms distributed per person per year in Coalition focus countries in sub-Saharan Africa between 2018 and 2019.

This claim is contained in the 2020 report of the Global HIV Prevention Coalition entitled “Implementation of the HIV Prevention 2020 Road Map”.

“Condom distribution was most extensive in Botswana and Lesotho (50–60 condoms were distributed per man (15– 64 years) and in Eswatini, Namibia and South Africa (30–40 condoms per man),” states part of the report.

The report applauds Botswana for managing to narrow the gap about the preventive benefits of condom use between 15–49-year age group.

“Knowledge about the preventive benefits of condom use tends to be higher among men than women (15–49 years), but Botswana, Cameroon, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe have all narrowed that gap,” states the report.

The report warns in clear cut terms that countries with weak condom programmes usually fail to make up for lost ground. The Global AIDS Monitoring data for 2019 indicates that 60% or less of women used condoms with non-regular partners in 15 of 19 focus countries. In Botswana, condom use with a non-regular partner between 15–49 years is 71% among women and 76% among men. This means Botswana missed its target of 90% for both genders, but did fairly well all the same.

“Only in Botswana did more than 70% of women use condoms in such sexual encounters. Self-reported condom use is consistently higher among men: it exceeded 75% in three countries (Botswana, Kenya and Zimbabwe) but was less than 60% in seven countries in 2019 (Angola, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Mozambique and the United Republic of Tanzania),” states the report.

The report also says “condom use at last paid sex is low” among sex workers adding that “coverage of HIV prevention programmes for sex workers is very low.” Moreover “condom use at last anal sex is moderate” among gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM). The report also says “coverage of HIV prevention programmes for gay men and other men who have sex with men is very low.”

Overall, the report says, “condom distribution in the 19 focus countries in sub-Saharan Africa decreased from about 2.9 billion condoms in 2018 to about 2.5 billion condoms in 2019.” The report further says condom programmes in sub-Saharan Africa rely heavily on external funding and are vulnerable to shifts in donor priorities.

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