Windhoek - The United States has donated over 6.9 million condoms and 2.6 million lubricants to Namibia to help ease a shortage of the contraceptive in the southern African country.
US embassy chargé d’affaires Jessica Long said late Tuesday that the donation was part Washington’s contribution to efforts by the Namibian government to address the high HIV prevalence in the country.
Namibia has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world, and condoms continue to be a health sector priority for preventing the spread of HIV.
Long said the donated commodities, valued at $275 000, would be distributed to 273 hotspots and 14 pick-up points mainly targeting Key Populations (KPs) that are not yet supplied by the Ministry of Health.
“KPs include female sex workers, men who have sex with men, and transgender people, who are particularly vulnerable and disproportionately affected by HIV due to high-risk behaviours, marginalization, stigma, discrimination, violence, and criminalization, all of which contribute to a lack of access to health services,” she said.
The condoms and lubricants were procured with funding by the United States Agency for International Development from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
Namibia is not the only African country to experience a condom shortage.
Earlier this week, IOL’s Chad Williams reported that the price of condoms in Zimbabwe is so high, a three pack will cost you about the same price as the minimum wage domestic workers take home.
According to local media, sex workers in the country are allegedly having to resort to using bread packets as contraception as the price of condoms and basic essentials continues to rise.