A National Health Insurance pilot district, Dr Kenneth Kaunda district health office distributes 200 female condoms to every clinic in its Matlosana area. Each woman receives only 15 female condoms, which are only largely available at health facilities – unlike more readily available male condoms.
Jourberton’s Tsholofelo Clinic staff says that despite community education efforts, there remains a lack of demand for female condom among women.
“Women often complain during our educational talks of the irritating sounds the female condoms make,” Tsholofelo Clinic manager Sinah Lebone told OurHealth. “They say it has an ackward sound that makes them uncomfortable.”
The clinic encourages women to use female condoms and continues to give them away, in spite of complaints that the condom is uncomfortable to use.
Nosipho Mathamela from Ext 3 is pregnant and goes to Tsholofelo clinic for regular check ups. She said that she prefers male condoms because she is more comfortable using them.
“The male condoms are easy to get and we are exposed to them earlier than female condoms, which are rarely found in public places,” she said. “It’s always better to use what you trust than trying something you’re not confortable to use.”
Maria Matebesi said she might consider keeping a female condom with her for emergencies.
Chairperson of Rea Taka home-based care organisation in Jouberton Ext 6, Lesego Peteni said women should be encouraged to start using the female condom at an early age in order to prevent getting pregnant while still at school.
Regardless of what kind of condom women choose, Mathamela said women should not be ashamed to carry protection.