Mwanza — The Ministry of Health, Social Welfare, Community Development, Elders and children in collaboration with Population Services International (PSI) and Tanzania Commission for AIDS (TACAIDS) has launched and introduced free ZANA Condom in Mwanza Region.
The new product phases out the previous silver and unlabeled brand that was distributed by the Medical Stores Department (MSD) which proved to be less attractive to many users.
Speaking during the launch here yesterday, the Mwanza Regional Medical Doctor, Dr Leonard Subi, said that the government plans to distribute more than 21 million new condoms free of charge across the country to reduce new HIV infections. He emphasized that the condoms would be distributed freely at selected locations to the public mainly the health centers to start with.
"The condoms will be distributed at health centers but the supply will soon be made available at the offices of village executives, bars, hotels and any at health facilities," He said.
Dr Subi noted that the condoms given by the government have been branded 'Zana ya Ukweli', meaning 'tool of reality' launched nationally in Mbeya Region last week.
He said that since 1980 when the AIDS pandemic entered the country the government has put in place different initiatives to control the disease because communities fail to practice safer sex using condoms or abstain from sex.
It has been evident that the use of condoms has reduced HIV and AIDS, so the campaign is still going on to make sure the exercise is successful. The AIDS Coordinator, Ms Eda Charles, said that the ministry's strategy is to sensitize the communities at large to use ZANA ya Ukweli condom just as it uses other condom brands.
She said that the objective to improve ZANA Condom was to clear the air on the concept that previous condoms that were distributed by the government were low in quality despite the fact that they were provided free of charge.
Ms Charles said that the Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority (TFDA) had undergone thorough sensitizing of the new condom confirming that they met all required standards.