Last week, health and anti-aids organizations launched a campaign advocating for condom accessibility in secondary schools.
This was during a press conference where the new advocacy campaign was launched to support youth reproductive health and rights in Rwanda.
If the campaign is successful, students will have access to condoms in schools.
According to a statement by the health organizations, youth in secondary schools continue to face difficulty in accessing condoms and contraception to help in the prevention of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies.
However, there are fears that this might encourage students to engage in sexual intercourse since they know that there won’t be any visible consequences.
Garamanda Mutesi, a mother of five and resident of Kabeza, says that students shouldn’t use this as an opportunity to start having sex.
“Condoms or contraceptives aren’t 100 percent reliable. Abstinence is the best way to go. Students should concentrate on their studies and leave sex for the married people,” Mutesi said.
Whereas access of condoms will prevent dropping out of schools, unwanted pregnancies and HIV/AIDS, these should be a last resort when abstinence has failed.
Leticia Ingabire, a member of CLA church, Nyarutarama states that having sex before marriage is a sin.
She urges students to keep pure and avoid sexual relations lest the Lord punishes them for immorality.
“Sex is meant for strictly married people according to the Bible. Students should wait until marriage for there are consequences of having sex before marriage even if one is using condoms,”Ingabire says.
She added that when people engage in sexual relationships before marriage, they are cheating their future partner and will not even have anything to be excited about when they get married.
Ingabire said the accessibility of condoms has its pros and cons. It might be helpful in prevention of AIDS and unwanted pregnancies but might also encourage more students to be promiscuous hence affecting their studies.
A Member of Parliament, Honorable Theobald Mporanyi, called for the awareness of accessibility of condoms in secondary schools.
He said that it is vital for secondary schools to have accessibility to condoms so as to avoid the consequences of unsafe sex such as HIV/AIDS.
He added that this will help avoid abortions and complications caused by unwanted pregnancy if students have access to condoms.
However, Erneste Gasangwa argues that if students aren’t seeing condoms, then they won’t think of having sex since they will be scared of catching HIV/AIDS.
He said the country needs more campaigns calling for abstinence instead.
“Students should be encouraged not to engage in pre-marital sex but to instead concentrate on excelling in their studies for a bright future,” said Gasangwa.
Whilst the advocacy for accessibility of condoms in secondary schools is a solution to a problem, students should be focused on their studies and wait for the right time to have sex—during marriage.