Over 23 million condoms were distributed in the country last year, it has been reported.
According to government statistics, this was close to double the 16 million distributed in 2009
The Ministry of Health attributes this drastic increase to the public’s was sensitization on condom use through social marketing strategies, and setting up free condom dispensing spots in public institutions, including hospitals.
Social marketing approach ensures availability of condoms through the commercial sector with a total market approach while public sector approach permits distribution of free condoms, with health facilities being the traditionally accepted final distribution points.
In 2010, over 11.4 million condoms where distributed under the public sector approach while over 12.1 million were distributed through social marketing.
“Importation of condoms in depends on estimated needs based on consumption trends and projections, and is informed by planned programmes,” said Arthur Asiimwe, the Director General of the Health Communication Centre in the ministry.
He added that establishing the number of other private sector entities involved in availing and selling various types of condoms on the Rwandan market is complex.
Asiimwe noted that a recent survey indicated that condom use among commercial sex workers and the youth aged 15-24 had remarkably increased.
“The survey shows that condom use increased by 43 percent among the youth and 83 percent in the commercial sexual workers, as compared to the previous 2000 and 2006 surveys,” he said.
The two groups are said to be high-risk categories.