By Surihe Gaomas
The Country Director of National Social Marketing (NaSoMa) Hosky //Gowaseb says the risk of having sex without using a condom is much higher in light of the widespread HIV/Aids infection rate in the country.
“Condoms play a special role in combating the spread of HIV/Aids because they are presently the only devices that protect against sexually transmitted infections including HIV.
The stakes are indeed too high for not using condoms as one small mistake can lead to a lifetime of regret,” said //Gowaseb
//Gowaseb said this at an event marking National Condom Use Day on Wednesday that was held at the Groot Aub settlement in the Rehoboth district.
Addressing a group of community members, Gowaseb said the annual day should be seen as encouraging sexually active Namibians, at risk of sexually transmitted infections and HIV, to use condoms on a regular basis.
“Our common focus as parents, teachers, community leaders and policy makers should be to encourage the consistent use of condoms,” he said.
Seeing that young people are the most vulnerable when it comes to HIV/Aids and STIs, Hosky sounded a note of caution to those in Groot Aub.
“I should emphasize that people, mostly youth, should delay their sexual activity for as long as possible. If you decide to get involved in sexual relationships, be faithful to your partner and use condoms at all times,” said //Gowaseb.
He further called on the Groot Aub community to continuously practise safe.
As part of its social marketing strategy, NaSoMa sells approximately 4.5-million condoms every year.
The organisation has also embarked on a variety of programmes to ensure that both male and female condoms are widely available, accessible and affordable in the country.
Among some of the key programmes NaSoMa is planning to implement is that of Behaviour Change Communication where non-users are encouraged to use condoms.
At the same time HIV Workplace Programme Management has also been put in place aimed at providing condoms and to encourage behaviour change in employees.
National Condom Use Day is marked in Namibia every year, ever since it was declared officially by the Ministry of Health and Social Services in 1999.
The aim of the day is for organisations like NaSoMa to ensure that condoms are widely accessible to communities across Namibia.