Source: The Standard
The Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) has said the distribution of female condoms rose sharply following the launch of a home meeting concept. A recent survey by ZNFPC revealed that the supply of female condoms from the national distribution centre in the first quarter of 2013 was 1 047 832 pieces compared to 847 008 pieces the same period last year.

ZNFPC marketing and communications manager Simion Chikwizo told The Standard last week that the home meeting concept involved people in the same community helping to distribute the condoms to one another.

"With this strategy, resistance is limited because the people who are supposed to be the drivers are community opinion leaders," said Chikwizo.

However, the organisation said lack of resources was hindering outreach services in rural areas.

"Rural women are responding very slowly to female condoms because there are a few social mobilisation and outreach services which are taking place in communities. These activities are meant to drum up support for people to have a buy into the product," said Chikwizo.

He said government had not been providing enough funds to enable ZNFPC to carry out its mandate in rural areas.

Chikwizo said it was expensive to implement advocacy campaigns at it involved advertising in the media, production of promotional materials such as posters and pamphlets and the use of multimedia strategies.

ZNFPC, a parastatal under the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, was also suffering as donor support for most of its programmes has dwindled. The organisation is mandated to co-ordinate the provision of family services and currently operates 13 clinics in the country's 10 provinces.

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