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Condomwise

  • February 15, 2013
  • By lodekulik
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The lack of access to knowledge about reproductive health (e.g. HIV, STD’s and pregnancies) causes a lot of hardship that can easily be avoided. Within this project we focus on 4 areas: HIV/AIDS, STD's, unwanted pregnancies and family planning. This project is about empowering people within their sexual rights and knowledge through easily accessible information, workshops and the distribution of free condoms.

AIM

The Condomwise project aims to reduce HIV/STD’s infections, suffering from unwanted pregnancies (with a focus on bad abortion practices) and empowers people within their sexual rights in Kampala, Uganda.

FOR WHO?

This project is meant for all kinds of people in Kampala area, but we have a special focus on vulnerable people: homosexuals, prostitutes and  people in remote areas such as small villages, islands and ghetto suburbs.

WHY?

Sexual education is minimal in Uganda and if it is given it is mostly based on religious morals; i.e. no sex before marriage. For the last few years the ABC method (Abstinence, Be Faithful, use Condoms) has been used, but like The Guttmacher Institute* shows, still half of pregnancies in Uganda are unplanned. The Central Intelligence Agency** also writes that:

-          The average age of the women having their first child is eighteen or nineteen years old

-           The average is six children per parent

-           Only 30% of society uses contraception (in the Netherlands it is 69%)

The Guttmacher Institute writes that many women still die during childbirth and that a growing number of women die from unsafe abortions.  According to the law, abortions are only legal in a few cases (i.e. in the case of rape and the contraction of HIV). However, because the rules are very unclear a lot of doctors won’t take the risk in any situation, even in legal circumstances.

Because of this, women look to unsafe methods like drinking bleach, detergent or toxic substances made from leaves or herbs, or by pouring acid over their stomachs. A lot of women go to poor quality clinics where untrained doctors remove the foetus in horrific ways. After such an abortion, women quite often have to go to a government hospital because of complications in the procedure, where they are treated as criminals and can even risk jail time.

Through interviews with prostitutes we know that a condom will cost them around 2,000 Ush (+- € 0,65) while she will make around 3,000 Ush ( +- €1.00) by sleeping with one client! So she will have to use about 2/3rd of her (already very marginal) income protect herself from pregnancy and HIV (clients usually don’t bring their own condoms). Other anti-conceptives might be protecting them from pregnancy but condoms are the only option to prevent them from STD's and HIV.

Also it is important to help those with an unwanted pregnancy with counselling as they don’t see other options than keeping it even though they won’t be able to care for it properly. A lot of women choose to visit abortion clinics/doctors that are not licensed to do the procedure properly and end up scarred or even die during the procedure. We have counselors that can help women do the right thing in a safe way for themselves and the unborn baby.

HOW?

The Ugandan trainers educate about reproductive health issues and distribute the condoms through free interactive group workshops. If you want to join a workshop in Kampala you can send an email with your contact information to dorcus@nninaolugero.org.  The trainers reach a lot of people each workshop and make time afterwards to individually counsel those who have questions. Besides that we have a distribution point in the biggest government hospital in Uganda where about 300 people walk past every day.This way we build and strengthen community/schools based effort in response to youth and adolescent sexual and reproductive health work.

We also use the train-the-trainer method: the trainers train people to be able to give training themselves to spread information throughout the country.

The project coordinates with sister projects within the Nnina Olugero foundation like Peters' Chicken and Seeds, Get Up, Stand Up and the Health Care project and other organisations like HOPEnet Uganda and People In Need Agency (PINA). It will help their beneficiaries and their beneficiaries will help ours. This way we give people a multi-disciplinary approach.

For this project we produced several brochures to be used during workshops or as stand-alone info. You can view them by clicking on the links. Feel free to use and share them, the more people who can use them the better.

 


*The Guttmacher Institute (2013), www.guttmacher.org/pubs/IB-Unintended-Pregnancy-Uganda

** The Central Intelligence Agency, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ug.html

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Kyebando, Gayaza road opposite Elisa road
P.O Box 34839
Kampala, Uganda


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