- Free condoms to be available in taxis and eateries
- But gov’t is concerned that there may be a discrepancy between condom collection and condom use
After a recent shortage due to lockdowns, the National Aids and Health Promotion Agency (NAHPA) says it will ensure a near-saturation level of condom availability everywhere across the Republic.
Condoms will be available even in taxis to ensure no one is stranded for sex after the curfew hour of 10pm. The focal person of NAHPA’s National Condom Programming, Kabo Ngombe, says plans are underway to formulate more innovative ways of distributing condoms across the country.
Through the “Condoms in a Taxi” initiative, Batswana will also be able to have special condom deliveries to their homes by taxi. NAHPA has been doing this for four years in Maun and extended the initiative to Gaborone in January. “We are trying by all means to have innovative ways to improve nationwide distribution of condoms,” Ngombe told The Botswana Gazette.
“The taxi initiative started about four years ago in Maun where it was spearheaded by The Ngamiland Council of NGOs (NCONGO). We have now partnered with the Botswana Business Coalition on AIDS (BBCA) to ensure access to free condoms and are expanding to other districts.
“We are also exploring distributing through bars, tuck shops and supermarkets. Remember that even though supermarkets sell condoms, not everyone can afford to buy them. Free ones available will improve accessibility.
“We had a stock-out in March 2020 when we experienced challenges because global lockdowns meant we could not purchase from our suppliers in Malaysia and India. But we have enough condoms now.”
Ngombe said members of the public are encouraged to make use of these free condoms provided by the government on the different platforms. “Sometimes it is not even an issue of lack of accessibility,” she said. “With introduction of the branded ‘Delight’ condoms in 2018, we noted a spike in the number of condoms being taken from distribution points.
“However, we don’t know if they are being used or they are just being stockpiled in people’s homes. Research has shown that people often take them but don’t use them, thus defeating the purpose of improving accessibility. So we urge people to ensure use, especially now that unlike in the past when the limit was 12 condoms to a person, there is no limit.”