GLOBAL FEMALE CONDOM DAY: ARFH AND FMOH RAISES AWARENESS, DISSEMINATES FEMALE CONDOM COUNSELLING TOOLS NATIONWIDE

GCFD ARFH1September 16 is Global Female Condom Day 2017 (#GFCD2017), an international day of action focused on increasing knowledge, access, availability, and use of female condoms.

Global Female Condom Day (#GFCD) is celebrated globally on the 16th of September and aims to increase the number of women, men and youth who know about, use, and advocate for female condoms. It is an annual day of education and advocacy to increase awareness, access, and use of female condoms.

Female Condom is the only female-controlled barrier method of contraception that provide dual protection from unplanned pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) including HIV/AIDS

Female condoms (FCs) have the potential to revolutionize safer sex for diverse populations around the world. Access to female condoms is hindered mainly by lack of availability and price. Many clients and health service providers also complained that the information gap on how to use the FCs overwhelmed service providers who have never used FC during counselling sessions in Family Planning (FP) clinics.

To address this, ARFH in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, and Education as a Vaccine (EVA Nigeria) with funding support from RUTGERS Netherlands, through the Universal Access to Female Condom Joint Programme (UAFC) implemented a short term grant from January to March 2017 to evaluate, review and improve on the female condom (FC) counselling tools early produced by ARFH in Nigeria.

The project was termed “Increasing Access to Female Condom Counselling Tools for Health Service Providers in Nigeria”.

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ARFH, through the Federal Ministry of Health produced and distributed to all states, flyers on how to use Female Condom (FC), awareness posters and elaborate guidelines for use by health services providers in counselling family planning clients in Nigeria. These counselling tools will be in most health facilities in all local governments to bridge the knowledge gap about FCs and increase the number of people that use in the prevention of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections such as HIV. Dr Kayode Afolabi, Director, Federal Ministry of Health, presented the poster and other counselling tools to Reproductive Health focal persons in various states for eventual distribution in Local Government Areas.

Three categories of Information, Education and Counselling materials produced on the project were; counselling guide leaflet for health care professionals, educational flyer for FC users, and publicity posters to educate the general public about FC.

These improved tools are expected to help health service providers in all communities nationwide to provide accurate information about female condoms to clients during counselling sessions. To review and modify these tools, facility mapping, to determine clinics that provide FC and clinics that offer FC, was done in selected local government areas for the research. One of the major inclusions in the flyer for dissemination to the general public is the section on ‘How to use a Female Condom’.

This #GFCD2017, ARFH is raising awareness about #FC by publicizing the reviewed and disseminated #FemaleCondom counselling tools.

ARFH is a Nigerian NGOs that promotes reproductive and family health information and services including family planning, towards building a healthier future and improving the quality of lives of underprivileged communities in Nigeria. ARFH is also a principal recipient of the Global Fund grant to fight HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis in Nigeria.

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