I recently read in The New Times, that the cost and scarcity of condoms for females (I wouldn’t want to call them female condoms, unless they are), popularly known as FEMIDOMS, has been cited as a challenge in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
You know there is a saying, ‘if education is expensive, try ignorance.’ So, if condoms for females are expensive, try otherwise.
Try not using them. Remember, they are one of the methods for fighting the spread of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, including HIV/AIDS. Condoms are however also used as a Family Planning tool.
So, if you decide to save yourself the discomfort of using those rubbers when you are supposed to, then be ready for any possible consequences. Then will you be able to appreciate their real value.
What’s causing their scarcity? Why are they costly? I understand the factory cost of condoms for females is higher than that of those for males.
This is probably because of the material used in their manufacture.I believe matters are worsened when on top of being expensive, they are reported as scarce.
You know what they say about scarcity, demand and the effect on price.
One might be tempted to say that there is little demand for these condoms. If they are being reported as scarce, then it’s a sign that those who need them can’t find them or enough of them.
I have worked in the Southern Province in the Districts of Nyaruguru and Gisagara.
The truth is that few had initially heard of any condom other than those used by males. However, during family planning clinics, the locals were informed of a condom women could have control over.
It could be used as a family planning tool or as a barrier to sexually transmitted diseases.
You should have watched the faces of these women. Though many were initially shy to even utter the word condom and even though many more looked the other way during demonstrations on how condoms are used, many were amused with the idea of a condom for women.
Some said that if they could access such condoms, they would be in control even when a husband came just demanding for food and sex. Others said that they had never had the nerve to say no to their husbands’ sexual and other demands.
“Sometimes, all the man does is poke the woman in the ribs with his elbow and she turns to face him. Anything other than that would mean a thorough beating,” a one Theopista Uwamaliya.
Going by the well knowing nods in the group, one would not be far from the truth concluding that many identified with Uwamaliya’s observation.
She said that with her own condoms, she would be ready. She would have more control over her life and number of children to bear. She would not be at the mercy of the man’s mood or willingness to use condoms in the first place.
This is very true. A man who is drunk is less likely to even use a condom properly, if he does remember to use it anyway.
It doesn’t help matters where Family Planning is seen as going against God who (in the Bible) told Adam and Eve to bear children and fill the world. The world is now filled.
The same book, in the New Testament (2Tim. 5:8) says that those who can not take care of their families are worse than none believers.
Back to the issue of condoms for females, in 2005, 12 million of them were distributed to women in the developing world. By comparison, between 6 and 9 billion male condoms were distributed that year.
With proper campaigns, the Femidom could be very vital. People would look at its so called high cost and compare it to the costs of not using it.
Unplanned pregnancies, the costs associated with the pregnancies, the eventual dwindling of domestic resources as these have to be shared with the new comer(s) in terms of health care, clothing, education and a lot more. One could also put into considerations the possible STDs and their associated costs.
We should therefore find out what’s causing their scarcity; is it that few are imported? Are they on high demand?
It would be nice to learn that they are actually on high demand because this would mean that people are more responsible, sexually speaking.
It’s interesting that these condoms have been available since 1988.
They however are not as popular as they should be. But it’s all in perception and the kind of marketing they are given. Which is almost equal to none.
According to medical experts, these condoms need a bit of skill to use. Therefore, government and the responsible institutions should look for ways of making them available, lowering their cost and also sensitising the populace on their importance and application. Otherwise, many will not know their existence and even the few available will just collect dust on the shelves.