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Health Minister Cautions Against Irresponsible Sexual Behaviour 

By Nformi Sonde Kinsai

Public Health Minister and the Chairman of the National AIDS Control Committee, NACC, André Mama Fouda, has cautioned against sexual intercourse without the use of condom.

“With the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, there is no reason for risk-taking today. Don’t go for a full contact without the use of a condom just to receive a shock…,” the Minister cautioned. Mama Fouda was speaking in Yaounde on August 3 during the launching of Prudence plus, a new male condom being distributed in the country by the Cameroon Social Marketing Association, ACMS.

Announcing that the new condom has been approved by NACC, the Minister said the move by ACMS is a demonstration of their (ACMS) commitment in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

“Government has made the fight against HIV/AIDS a national priority in its vision 2035 growth and employment strategic paper…,” he declared. Fouda said the national strategy is to reinforce efforts geared at prevention, reason why Government is also insisting on the proper use of condoms.

He said ACMS is committed to making available some 189 million condoms within the next four years and observed that the price of FCFA 100 per piece of three condoms is exceptional, while hailing donors and partners in development for subsidising the price through their financial support.

Board Chair of ACMS, Adalbert Nguidjol, referred to the new Prudence plus as an unavoidable tool in the prevention of sexually transmitted illnesses, STIs, including HIV/AIDS. He said since 1989 when ACMS started operations, over 300 million condoms have been produced and distributed in the country.

“The prevention of STIs in Cameroon through the use of condoms is a reality,” Nguidjol stated, while paying tribute to donors who guaranteed the supply and the affordability of the product to Cameroonians. The Brand Manager of Prudence plus, Bertrand Dimody, said thanks to the listening ear of ACMS to complaints from users, they went into research and the outcome is the new condom.

He said with the use of peer educators and other NGOs working with ACMS, mass communication and inter-personal contact, the new product is being disseminated. He also talked of a strategic distribution channel through a commercial circuit envisaging some 20,000 sales points across the country.

Dimody presented the evolution of condoms that have been distributed by ACMS in the country since 1989 revealing that the peak, in terms of quantity, was in 2008 when some 28 million condoms were distributed. He announced that the target population for the use of the product range from 18 to 49 years.

A representative from the Yaounde-based disease control organisation in Central Africa, OCEAC, also talked of the efforts by the institution to stem illnesses including the transmission of HIV/AIDS.

With the slogan, “Pleasure at a Reliable Cost,” a technical document from ACMS notes that Prudence plus is 16 cm long and 55 microns in thickness as authorised by the World Health Organisation.

It states that the product was tested three times by the National Laboratory for the Control of Drugs, LANACOME and approved by NACC and maintains that the new Prudence plus is a resistant product that guarantees maximum pleasure during sexual intercourse.

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