Dembe Distribution Company has, through the Ministry of Health (MOH), donated to the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces (UPDF) condoms worth two billion shillings to support in the fight against sexually transmitted infections and promote family planning in the Force and their surrounding communities.
The donation of the Fiesta brand of condoms in four flavours was delivered at UPDF’s Bombo military hospital in Luwero by the Chief Executive Officer of Dembe Distributors, Anil Damari and the Condom Coordinator at the Minstry of health Vastah Kibirige.
They were received by Brig. Gen. Dr. Patrick Ocen and the Director of HIV/AIDS in the UPDF and Hon. Maj Evelyn Asiimwe, on behalf of the Chief Medical Services of the UPDF, Maj Gen Ambrose Musingunzi.
Asiimwe urged the UPDF health department to ensure the condoms reach all UPDF healthcare units in one weeks time.
The officials did not however talk about whether or not the condoms have been thoroughly tested to prove their safety.
The issue of safety of condoms has been in the public debate following reports that some Ugandans contracted HIV after using defective condoms.
Kibirige said the MOH and its partners are committed to ensuring that all sexually active people in Uganda are able to access good quality condoms of their choices and are sensitized on their correct usage and correct disposal after use.
She said the UPDF is a reliable partner of the MOH in this effort because the military has well organized structures.
“The UPDF has been a good longtime partner in our strategic interventions for the triple protection against sexually transmitted infections, HIV infections and unintended pregnancies,” said Kibirige.
Anil Damari said the donation is in appreciation to the UPDF for its contribution in ensuring peace and security in the country that enables trade to thrive and to the people of Uganda for their support for the company.
Brig Gen Ocen reiterated UPDF’s commitment in working with its partners in ensuring wellness in the country.
He instructed the UPDF Directorate of HIV/AIDS and family planning units to ensure proper sensitization of the beneficiaries of the condoms to ensure proper usage so that the intended objectives are realized.
Maj. Asiimwe noted the need for intensified sensitization of Ugandans against condom misuse because lately, there has been widespread misuse.
“This donation will not only be useful in the UPDF institution but also its neighboring communities that benefit from the UPDF health services,” she said.