120,000 condoms donated

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has donated 120,000 condoms as well as 120,000 pieces of water based lubricants.

This comes as the country faces a shortage of supplies relating to combating the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The donation was made at the National AIDS Council Secretariat headquarters in Port Moresby in the presence of the US Ambassador to PNG, Catherine Ebert-Gray.

The 40 cartons of strawberry scented condoms and 120 cartons of water based lubricants were unloaded and placed in the NAC’s office.

The USAID, which is part of the President’s emergency funding, works very closely with the National Department of Health and the National AIDS Council, assisting where there are funding gaps.

“We know it’s not sufficient, but it does fill in the gap as we work together with the government, in the provision of condoms, we never do anything without the support and request of the government, we abide by the policy and principles, and I think this is yet another example where NACS found another need to cover a gap,” said representative of USAID in PNG, Jorge Velasco.

USAID also focuses on improving health systems so that people with HIV/AIDS, high risk populations, get high quality care.

“That implies that they are identified, tested and treated, and they have friendly service provision, which is effective and up to date.”

NAC Director, Dr Nick Dala, while thanking USAID, said today’s donation was timely, especially when the country is facing a shortage of condoms as well as anti-retroviral drugs.

“Condom still remains the number one prevention tool, for not only HIV but also for STIs and unwanted pregnancies as well, so it’s an important commodity,” said Dr Dala.

Meredith Kuusa