Condoms are health commodities that are diversely used across all ages for different purposes. Speaking of young people, a condom is a pregnancy preventive measure, whose usage is simplified with minimal repercussions of reaction from the users. Accessibility has been moderate with the majority accessing it through community health workers, youth-friendly centers, health facilities, and youth champions. government free distribution has been a huge impact in mitigating the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases and infections. other organizations partnering with the government in the health sector have been a great boost in meeting millions of users in the country.
The last quarter of 2021, has been a great challenge. the commodities availability has been depreciating. this put the lives of millions of users at risk.
The majority has been depending on the free distribution. As revealed in the Kenya National Condom Strategy 2018-2023 (KNCS) report, the country requires 455 million condoms annually, compared with 1.6 million made available each month by the government.
This means the country relies mostly on donations. Due to heavy taxation on the commodity, experts attribute the shortage to it. It's not that we can stop the activeness of youth sexuality. the repercussions caused by this shortage might reborn the milestones we have mitigated in years in terms of reducing the HIV new infection, teenage pregnancy, and sexual transmission infections and disease. The government needs to consider the impact it creates on its citizens as compared to the taxations target they look forward to achieving.
With the eruption of covid-19, it’s time we style up, speak up on matters that really matter, not politicking but being intentional in bringing to account the departments and bodies that are not executing the duties responsibly. Health is the backbone of our livelihood. improving and upgrading research centers, production industries and minimizing dependence on donations will be the way to enhance sustainability as a country.
As we look forward to the transition of leadership politically, with a major focus on the health sector what are the strategies as a country to have a sustainable model of supplies? How are we developing our health sectors from products manufacturing, facilities infrastructure, and adequate human resource force? How is our economic empowerment impacting the country towards realizing the full potential to be sustainable for provisions of products and services in the health sector? How much effort is the country willing to put in to ensure the progress made in the health sector is maintained and appreciated.
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As a project officer for U-Tena Youth Organization, Muthoni is passionate about health advocacy. Serving the community in the informal settlements is what started it all.