Acceptability of the female condom by female health workers in Francistown, Botswana

  • Lovemore Chirwa
  • Burt Davis
  • Thozamile Qubuda

Abstract


Background:  Women account for nearly half the global population of persons living with HIV. In sub-Saharan Africa women constitute 60% of adults living with the virus. The situation makes it necessary to develop and improve prevention actions that target women. The female condom is a practical option. It is the only available dual protection method that protects against sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancies, and is designed for women to initiate.


Objective: This study aimed to measure condom use by females as well as their attitude and perceptions about female condom use in Francistown, Botswana.


Research Design: The research design employed was the survey method. Seventy-one participants were enrolled. Participants  were  asked  to  complete  a  self-administered  questionnaire  which  consisted  of  demographic characteristics, and attitudes and perceptions of female condom use.

Results: The study found that 15.5% of women had used the female condom in the previous month, 12.9% had used the condom in the previous 3 months, and 17.2% had used the female condom in the previous 12 months. The study also showed that the majority of participants believed the female condom was readily available (71.4%) and that it empowered women (63.3%), and the majority of women (78.9%) would recommend its use. However, only 22.8% believed that the female condom was better than the male condom, 28.6% believed it was easy to use, and only 9.8% thought it was popular with clients. The majority (53.5%) believed the female condom was not well promoted and (56.3%) of participants did not know if sex with the female condom was as good.

Conclusion & Recommendation: Female condom use by female health workers was low. There is need for more research to examine why the condom is not acceptable among female health workers.








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