Walter Mswazie Masvingo Correspondent
The Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) has allayed fears that the increase in prices of condoms by some companies will force people to indulge in risky behaviour, saying there are still cheaper options.
A snap survey done by The Herald across Masvingo city has shown that prices of condoms sold in shops and pharmacies have gone up by almost 100 percent.
Population Services International Zimbabwe (PSIZ) also announced an increase in the price of Protector Plus (PP) in a memorandum recently. The upward review is with effect from August 1, 2019.
A packet of Protector Plus which was selling at between $2 and $3 in many shops now costs $6.
ZNFPC provincial education and marketing officer Mr Hebert Chikosi said there were still some organisations, ZNFPC included,that were offering condoms for free.
“While it is true that prices of some condoms have been increased, we still have options as ZNFPC still gives them for free.
“We therefore urge those who want condoms to look for those that are being issued at public hospitals and even workplaces.
“We know that there are those who are shy to get these at public places, but this is the only viable option.
“We have condoms meant for social marketing and those are the ones we encourage people to use as they are not sold. There are some meant for commercial purposes and are found in the shops. However, generally condoms should remain affordable if we are to effectively reduce the incidents of STIs and new HIV infections,” he said.
He said free condoms were distributed in many places and people were free to access them adding that efforts were being made to install condom dispensing machines at most busy places.
Condom distribution programmes have been shown to be the most effective in preventing STIs and HIV when implemented as a component of a larger education and prevention strategy.
Proper use of condoms during sexual encounters greatly reduces the chance of contracting HIV.