Women at Lusilile Village in Singida Region have asked the government to send and distribute condoms at the village to help fight HIV transmission.
Receiving the Uhuru Torch at the village at Kintinku Division in Manyoni District, on Monday, they said that they were in need of condoms to protect themselves from the virus. During the celebrations, some of the women were asking for free condoms from vehicles from the health department.
They later told The Citizen that there was a shortage of condoms at the village. "Due to the shortage, when available, condoms are sold at very high prices, which we cannot afford," they added.
One of the women, Ms Aziza Mohamedi, said that one packet of condoms at the village has been fetching between Sh500 and Sh1,000 depending on availability.
"It is absurd that we have been sensitised not to practice unsafe sex, but there are no condoms. How are we going to practice safe sex without it?" Ms Aziza queried.Another woman, Ms Amida Ally, a mother of two children, apart from protecting themselves from contracting HIV, they also use condoms as a birth control mechanism.
"Condoms are the best option for most women at the time when they are vulnerable to unwanted pregnancies," she added.
However, a health officer in the district, Mr Richard Rwehumbila, dismissed the shortage claims, saying there are plenty of condoms at the village health centre. "In addition to the centre, a non-governmental organisation run a project, Tunajali, through which condoms are distributed free," he said.