Dispatch

68 000 condoms distributed in 4 days

12 October 2015

The Universities of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland held the intervarsity games from 8 – 13 March 2015 in Gaborone under the theme “We are here to grow; responsibility starts here”.

The games brought over 1 400 students from the three universities to participate in various sports. In previous intervarsity games it was concluded that there was increased risky behaviours during the games, as evidenced by increased STIs, violence and rape during the games.

The National AIDS Coordinating Agency and the Student Affairs organized health information activities for students during the games. UNFPA and the Ministry of Health took the upbeat CONDOMIZE! campaign to the games. Prior to ‘CONDOMIZING’ the games, 35 young volunteers from youth organizations on campus were trained on HIV prevention, condoms and implementation of the campaign.

The team then ‘CONDOMIZED’ the games, providing information and skills on using condoms to students from the 3 countries. Most students were not aware of the varieties of condoms (sizes, flavours, colours) available. Unlike Lesotho, students from Swaziland and Botswana had an experience of the campaign even though they did not participate when it was carried out. This was therefore an opportunity for them to learn more about condoms and access the variety of condoms that were available. A majority did not know how to correctly insert male condoms while an overwhelming majority had not seen a female condom and did not know how to use it. This called for a need to intensify information dissemination and skills building at the universities and provision of condoms that are appealing to young people.

With a vibrant CONDOMIZE team, a total of 68 000 male condoms and 8 000 female condoms were distributed in four days.

Key Issues on Condoms @ University of Botswana

1. Students do not really know how to use a female condom, and a majority had not seen the condom!!

2. 80 000 male condoms distributed a month at UB, equal to 5 condoms per person

3. Usually high demand of condoms at the end of the month

4. Condoms are distributed by Health Promotion Assistants, each for specific residential block

5. They give 20 condoms per room

6. Condom dispensers are found around the campus, however are always empty and damaged

7. Condoms can be accessed at the Health & Wellness and UB clinic

8. Condom brands distributed- Lovers+ and Lorato.

9. The students highlighted that girls are ashamed to be seen having condoms. They say ‘It’s a guy thing’.

10. It was further revealed during the discussions that GBV is high, and only reported when there are bruises that require someone to go to the health facility.