Launching phase 3 of condom promotion, NACO chief says focus will be on rural areas
Sonal Matharu | August 2, 2010
Condom vending machines will be set up at the Commonwealth Games offices and venues where condoms will be available for free and also for rupees five each for use by the guests and the locals, said National AIDS Control Organisation’s (NACO) secretary and director general K Chandramouli here on Monday.
He added that NACO, a department of the health ministry that works in HIV/AIDS control programme in India, is working with the Delhi State AIDS Control Society (DSACS), its Delhi centre, and the commonwealth games officials in finalizing the condom promotion programme during the games. The games venue will see condoms of Nirodh brand, which is promoted by the government, besides other brands available in the market.
Chandramouli was speaking at the launch of phase three of NACO’s condom social marketing programme which targets 370 districts in the country, with focus on rural areas. 294 and 194 districts were targeted in the second and first phase of the same programme, respectively, which was met successfully, said NACO’s team leader for technical support group – condom promotion, Gaurav Jain.
“We have identified 70 lakh retail outlets in the country for the third phase of the programme and we will work towards circulating condoms in all the outlets. As of now condoms are available in 11 lakh outlets and the targets are increasing every year,” said Chandramouli.
Aradhana Johari, joint secretary, NACO, was also present at the event and she added that availability, access and acceptability of the condoms in the country are the biggest challenges. Efforts will be made in the third phase to have condoms widely available.
“Out of the eight lakh outlets, condoms will be available at over five lakh non-traditional outlets like kirana shops, dhabas, auto workshops, barber shops and at 4.5 lakh outlets in rural areas,” said Johari.
However, during the entire presentation by the NACO team, there was no mention of the promotion of female condoms through the programme. When asked, Chandramouli said that propagating the use of female condoms is necessary but it is not easy to promote its usage, especially in rural areas.
About 2.5 million people in India aged between 15 and 49 are estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS prevalence, concentrated in certain parts of the peninsular India, is 0.36 percent.
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