The magic wand in SFH’s Plaisir

Phillip (not real name) found himself on the edge of sexual urge with a girlfriend after taking it too hard in the club. But he did not have any condom at hand.
Plaisir condom, distributed by SFH, is greatly favoured by the majority of the ‘smart’ citizens in the country.  The New Times/ Ivan Ngoboka.
Plaisir condom, distributed by SFH, is greatly favoured by the majority of the ‘smart’ citizens in the country. The New Times/ Ivan Ngoboka.

Phillip (not real name) found himself on the edge of sexual urge with a girlfriend after taking it too hard in the club. But he did not have any condom at hand.

“We couldn’t have unprotected sex because I was not only scared of unwanted pregnancies but also HIV/Aids since none of us was aware of the other’s status,” he says.

“The urge was so overwhelming that  we both felt helpless.”

However, as luck may have it, they came across a condom vendor at the reception while exiting the facility.

“I gave out  Rwf200 and got a pack of  Plaisir condoms. That is how our night was saved from any blushes.”

He says he uses Plaisir condoms because the girlfriend  prefers them.

“She says that they make sex pleasurable because of their rough surface,” Phillip says.

According to Dr Jean Bosco Harelimana, of Family Health  Dispensary in Remera, Gasabo District, people prefer Plaisir and Prudence condoms because they have Kinyarwanda prescriptions and there have nice look.

“Besides, they are affordable, going for as little as Rwf200 and Rwf100, respectively. At such low pricing, a person of any economic status can afford,” Harelimana says.

He said one of the major challenge today is that many people still shy away from buying condoms yet they really need them.

“Sometimes you notice a client turn back from clinic after finding many people at the counter, and only to return later and buy the condoms when everybody is gone,” he says.

“Sometimes they have to whisper and I help by packing the gadgets and serving them in confidence.”

According to John Bosco Kwizera, the head of Department-HIV/Aids Prevention and community-based organisations (CBOs) management at Society For Family Health (SFH) Rwanda, mobile video unit session, concerts and road shows (using local artistes to give out message on HIV prevention) are carried out regularly to promote Hiv/Aids awareness.

Kwizera said through aggressive and consistent behaviour change communication (BCC ) by SFH, Rwandans will slowly stop shying from demanding for condoms publicly to have safe sex by using correctly and consistently condoms and save their lives while saving others.

“Condom use in the country will increase tremendously in the near future given the strategies Society for Family HealthRwanda is currently implementing in partnership with community-based organisations  and technical leadership of the Ministry of Health through Rwanda Biomedical Centre. More important, we believe this shall happen through continuous behavioural change communication,” Kwizera says.

He added that nearly a million condoms were sold out by Society for Family Health Rwanda  countrywide in 2012 alone. 

According to the 2012 UNFPA report, about 25 million condoms generally were distributed in Rwanda. The Ministry of Health also distributes condoms freely at public health centres.

Perhaps it could be more effective for Rwandans to spend a little on buying condoms; for it assures usage. SFH Rwanda does social marketing two common brands Plaisir and Prudence.

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