The fight against sexually transmitted infections and other related health diseases requires the full participation and partnership of both women and men, health expert Fred Chitalu has said.
He advised women to take keen interest in using female condoms, which they could collect from health organisation such as Society for Family Health.
Mr Chitalu said the female condom was the only technology available that women could use as an alternative to the male condom, to protect themselves from spreading sexual transmitted diseases.
He believed that if female condoms were provided in sufficient quantities with proper education on their use, women and couples would have more options for protection to prevent infections and unwanted pregnancies, saving lives in the process.
“Though there is low female condom usage in some parts of the country, it is vital to continue sensitizing people on its importance and it is encouraging to see various stakeholders doing fine in ensuring that more women had access to condoms,” Mr Chitalu said.
He observed that most of the women were uncomfortable to use female condom, but that massive sensitization was key to equip women with information.
Mr Chitalu further said the successful female condom promotion and use required the on-going support of a broad range of stakeholders for it to be supported by communities and potential users.
Female condom is an effective method of non-hormonal contraception and a powerful tool to fight the spread of HIV and sexually transmitted infections, enabling women and men to manage their risks.
He said since 2012, advocates across the globe recognized female condom day as an international day of action, which was focused on increasing knowledge, availability and use of female condoms.
Mr Chitalu said organized and collective action at community and country levels contributed to a strong global female condom message.
According to statistics, the number of female condoms purchased worldwide by major donor agencies increased from 5.5 million in 2005 to more than 35.2 million in 2013, with a vast majority of the donation given to Africa.