The AHF-Rwanda’s awareness campaign on condom use in Rusizi district yesterday February 21, 2018 attracted a big number of organizers than the audience. The event was held near Kamembe town market.
Marked with a low turn up in audience, the campaign on condom use gathered in a big number the workers of Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF-Rwanda) and their partners plus few people who were passing around the market.
It marked a huge discrepancy from the previous one of Rubavu and not far similar with the one of Huye district held last week, which also attracted only few students from the University of Rwanda.
Notwithstanding the poor attendance of the audience in Rusizi, their perception on condom use is also still low comparing to other citizens.
Rusizi district is also among the hotspots identified by the ministry of health/Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) in their recent report.
Some of the citizens who were around said they fear to ask for a condom during the day, but attempt to but it at high cost during the night.
This was reaffirmed by Egide Gatera, the Rusizi district’s health director in the interview with the media.
“This kiosk will help us a lot, the big benefit we target is citizens’ understanding about the initiative not only in preventing HIV/AIDS new contamination but also will help them avoid unwanted pregnancies, it happens that citizens fear to receive a condom during the day time and traders increase the price during the night because people prefer to buy it over the nights,” said Gatera.
He said that citizens of Rusizi are exposed to high rate of prostitution as they are neighbors of the border to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Although citizens still fear to ask for a condom during day times, over 10,000 condoms have been distributed in two months ago with the kiosk which was officially opened yesterday. Most of people get them during the nights.
This district has almost double number of HIV prevalence of over 6% comparing to the national average of 3 % according to Gatera.
Of these 6%, 2000 people take antiretroviral (ARV) and use a condom according to the source from RRP+, one of AHF-Rwanda in Kamembe-Rusizi.
Sensitization still low
Emmanuel Tuyisenge, 25, is one of Kamembe sector’s citizens serving as manpower in the market. Passing around the new condom kiosk, The Inspirer tried to talk to him about the awareness of condom use.
Tuyisenge said that they do not care about the condom and cannot buy it as it is for nonsense. “It can be difficult for you to tell me about condom use, myself cannot ask for a condom, for what? Tuyisenge said.
Charlotte Mukaneza is also young lady from Rusizi. She told The Inspirer that most of girls and women are ashamed to ask for a condom because they do not have enough knowledge of it.
“We know it but it is not our current attitude to buy it or ask for it, we have better to abstain ourselves,” said Mukaneza.
John Hakizimana, an official from AHF-Rwanda said that AHF-Rwanda will continue to support the condom kiosk in terms of condoms availability and payment for the kiosk’s employees.
The condom kiosks are currently eight countrywide: five in Kigali, one in Rubavu, one in Huye and another one of Rusizi.
By Elias Hakizimana @theinspirerpubl
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