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Interaction Program on Sexual Health on the occasion of International Condom Day 2016
15th February 2016
Event Narrative report
Background of Issue
Each year, the International Condom Day is commemorated on February 13. In observance of International Condom Day seeks to promote the use of condoms as a means of preventing unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STI's). It is an informal observance celebrated in conjunction with Valentine's Day. The day is also promoted for prevention in an effort to reduce the spread of HIV thru safe sex practices.
First time in the world, The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) through the Love Condoms campaign - has marked the eve of Valentine’s Day as International Condom Day for years to promote safe sex in an attempt to cut the risk of transmitting HIV and STIs and also supporting Family Planning efforts. The Love Condoms campaign creator aimed to encourage people to consistently use condoms so they can protect themselves and their partners, and it would like them to have easy access to free and quality condoms. It contends there is a need for condoms to be demanded worldwide. “Since the inception of the Love Condom campaign in 2008, AHF-branded Love Condoms have gained great popularity among millions of people across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America.”
Interaction Program on Sexual Health on the occasion of International Condom Day 2016
In Nepal the predominant mode of transmission of both HIV and other STIs is sexual intercourse. Measures for preventing sexual transmission of HIV and STIs are the same, as are the target audiences for interventions. In addition, strong evidence supports several biological mechanisms through which STIs facilitate HIV transmission by increasing both HIV infectiousness and HIV susceptibility. Thus, detection and treatment of individuals with STIs is an important part of an HIV control strategy thru condom promotion. In summary, if the incidence/prevalence of STIs is high in a country, then there is the possibility of high rates of sexual transmission of HIV. Monitoring trends in STIs provides valuable insight into the likelihood of the importance of sexual transmission of HIV within a country, and is part of second generation surveillance. These trends also assist in assessing the impact of behavioural interventions, such-as delaying sexual debut, reducing the number of sex partners and promoting condom use. The study shows that seventy-five percent of people in relationships do not use condoms during vaginal intercourse. There is no medical excuse for anyone not wearing a condom, especially because there are latex-free condoms available. Using condoms makes sex 10,000 times safer when the AIDS precursor human immunodeficiency virus is a concern. The condom is one of the most affordable and easily accessible types of birth control. The use of Condoms make for the only proven method for reducing the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI's) during sex so we suggest keep condoms on hand so there is no excuse to use them if the situation arises. Thus, Nepal Health Society (NHS) was proposed to organize an interaction program on sexual health on the occasion of International Condom Day 2016 in the month of February the date of 15th in the propose of seeks to promote the use of condoms as a means of preventing unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (STI's) and prevention in an effort to reduce the spread of HIV thru safe sex practices.
Participants on the occasion of International Condom Day 2016
On 15th February, 2016, as one of the pioneer national level non government organization of Nepal advocating for Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and HIV/AIDS activities in the country, Nepal Health Society (NHS) organized a national level “Interaction Program on Sexual Health, On the occasion of International Condom Day 2016” in coordination with Ministry of Health, National Centre for AIDS & STD Control with technical and financial support of the Save the Children Nepal and AIDS Health Foundation (AHF) Nepal.
In the occasion of observing International Condom Day 2016 with the slogan ‘WRAP YOUR LOVE ". The chief guest of the program was Mr. Shanta Bahadur Shrestha, Secretary of Ministry of Health, Government of Nepal and special guests of the program were Dr. Dipendra Raman Singh, Director, National Center for AIDS and STD Control (NCASC), DR. B.S. Thakur, Chief Department of Health.
In the Interaction program SRH prevention activists, governmental officials of different ministries, representatives from UN agencies, Legal profession, health professional, Academician, N/INGOs, person of KPs, Students, sports personnel, journalists, and civil society were participated in the program. The program was organized in National Health Training Centre, Teku, Kathmandu to highlight the issue among concerned higher level governmental authorities and other concerned stakeholders. There were 110 national level stakeholders and media participated for observing the International Condom Day 2016 to make advocacy and sensitization through interaction to seeks to promote the use of condoms as a means of preventing unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (STI's) and prevention in an effort to reduce the spread of HIV thru safe sex practices in the country.
Objective of commemoration of International Condom Day (ICD) 2016:
The major objective of the commemoration of ICD was to initiate advocacy and sensitization through interaction in the issues of SRH on the occasion of ICD 2016 to authorities of policy makers/planners and the mass general public for influencing policy makers and planner to bring out their dialogue and commitment toward prevention of STI and HIV in the country to seeks to promote the use of condoms as a means of preventing unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (STI's) and prevention in an effort to reduce the spread of HIV thru safe sex practices.
Participants and Special guests of the program:
More than 110 national level stakeholders participated in the interaction program of ICD 2016 from representative of different sectoral activists, higher level governmental officials of different ministries; representative of different UN agencies, legal professional, health professional, government administration, donor agencies, journalists, academician, students, sports personnel and other civil society stakeholders had important presented in the program. The event observed was honored with the presence of chief guest Mr. Shanta Bahadur Shrestha, Secretary of Ministry of Health, Government of Nepal and special guests of the program were Dr. Dipendra Raman Singh, Director, National Center for AIDS and STD Control (NCASC), DR. B.S. Thakur, Chief Department of Health Services, Logistics Management Division (LMD), Ms. Loretta Wong, Senior Advocacy and Policy Director, AHF, Mr. Rishi Raj Ojha, Executive Director, Nepal Health Society.
Participants of International Condom Day 15th February, 2016
The day commemoration of International Condom Day 2016 organized in National Health Training Centre, Teku, Kathmandu at Sharp 3 pm to 5 pm in the title of Interaction Program on "Sexual Health" on the occasion of International Condom Day 2016. There were more than 110 stakeholders participated in the Program and it was started it with the master of ceremony by Mr. Bir Bahadur Rawal, SI Focal Point, NCASC. First of all the program was begun from the welcome speech by the Executive Director of Nepal Health Society Mr. Rishi Raj Ojha. In welcome speech, Mr. Ojha focused on propose of observing of ICD 2016, he asserts on the urgency of prevention of STI and HIV through promotion of condom. He stated that government has formed policies and strategies to prevention of STIs from condom but there is prime need to efficient policy implementation in grass root community of country. Morbidity has been one of the major causes for the death throughout the nation through unsafe sexual practice. Furthermore Mr. Ojha said daily, many reproductive age of young lady died by unsafe abortion. To address the current problem regarding SRH, he requested Ministry of Health to consider the issue seriously with coordination to non government organizations. Mr. Ojha addressed the current situation of SRH scenario of Nepal and its impact details with need of the intervention and policy for prevention and management in Nepal as well. The objective of ICD was to increase awareness for enhanced understanding of the damaging effects of unsafe sexual practice without condom, to implement programs in an effort to prevent STIs and HIV in our society and to influence policy authorities to consider the issue of suicide in their plans and policies for condom promotion. After highlighting the objectives, he talked about the global scenario of condom promoting strategy and following he talked about national scenario and he offered some ways out to prevent infection from the society. Moreover the session was guided to find out the gaps that became hazards to prevent condom promotion in country. Furthermore, after welcome speech and highlighted of the program issues there were national and international resource persons in the different issues of SRH relevant with condom perspective from the different sectoral expertise of issues accordingly which are as followed:
ØMs. Loretta Wong, Senior Advocacy and Policy Director, AHF USA " PPT sharing/presentation about ICD".
ØMr. Bir Bahadur Rawal, SI Focal Point, NCASC, "Situation of Condom in Nepal".
ØDr. Dipendra Raman Singh "Sexual Health in Nepal related with Condom"
ØMr. Shanta Bahadur Shrestha, Secretary of Ministry of Health "Condom promotion and management from Government of Nepal"
In addition to this, program moved forward with the floor suggestion from the participants and key remarks of the chief guest and special guest of the event respectively. The floor suggestion and recommendation of the guest and participants have been mentioned in the section of program outcome and recommendation accordingly. During interaction, participants also highlighted the need for such program in the communities.
Similarly, Chief Guest, Mr. Shanta Bahadur Shrestha, Secretary of Ministry accepted with the fact that Government of Nepal has been able adequately to work out on the issues related to condom promotion relevant with SHR. Moreover, he asserted that stigma has become the major problem to work in the issues related to STI & HIV through condom promotion. But he emphasized that using of condom depend upon individual decision of sex and sexuality so that those who work have to move condom programming into the community and have to counsel in the personnel level in their sexual respect. He showed his serious concern in the suicide attempts made by young people of Nepal who involve in unsafe sexual activity.To address the problem of condom promotion, he claimed, there must be the counseling inside the school/college or it has to be included inside the curriculum which will finally help to reduce sexual infections. Furthermore, he showed his serious concerns regarding the issue and also assured to work together the issues of sexual infections prevention in the days to come. He emphasized that the one of the responsibility of government to prevent such infections and it management in community however government cannot do everything so we request to non government organizations to come with together for prevention and management of this issue in every individual, family and society. He also further said that Ministry of Health always ready to workout regarding the strategy for national level policy and we request you all civil society non government organizations come with us and make it effective for prevention intervention through condom promotion in the country.
Ms. Loretta Wong, Senior Advocacy Director, AHF – HQ: addressed in the issue of HIV and STI and she argued that this problem is priority of Public Health as well as development issue. She presented her PPT sharing/presentation about ICD that AHF celebrated the event in different countries including Nepal. First of all she expressed her happiness to conduct such program in Nepal and mass of young lady participation in the event specially. She informed that ICD is celebrated in each year in the 13th February worldwide. Furthermore, Ms. Wong stated the importance of condom for its affordability and effectiveness. Similarly, she also said that HIV positive can use it for protection of their partners from HIV and STI so it can be used for dual protection method. Likewise, she further highlighted the AHF’s ICD activities globally.
Dr. Dipendra Raman Singh, Director, National Center for AIDS and STD Control (NCASC): Dr. Singh expressed his ideas on how stigma has been a major challenge to prevent suicide in Nepal. He also said that more than 75% of people aware on knowledge of condom use however this is important how they effectively use. Availability of condom is another important factor for promotion of condom in every corner of the society. There is emergency provision to availability of condom in every community rights when and where they fell to need for protection them from STI and HIV. Dr. Singh further said that the skills is very needed to use of effective of condom use so we should need to educate and demonstrate them in safer sex education during the condom promotion activity. We should openly discuss with family in the issue of sex and sexuality for how them protect from such type of sexual infections. Government of Nepal always celebrates national condom day in the propose of condom promotion activities on behalf of Nepal and we always tries to coordinate with multi sectoral nongovernmental organization in partnership work with us to make desire outcome of condom promotion activities in the country.
After key remarks of chief guest and special guest, and feedback of participants of the program the following achievement and recommendations provided to prevent suicide and its management in the country.
v There were 110 national and international level stakeholders participated in the program from representative of different sectoral activists, higher level governmental officials of different ministries; representative of different UN agencies, legal professional, health professional, police administration, donor agencies, journalists, academician, students, sports personnel and other civil society stakeholders had important participated in the program for commemoration of International Condom Day 2016. The following recommendations have been provided by the participants in the program:
ØHigher levels of stakeholders were participated in the event due to their interest in the subject matter (110 people participated behind the targeted of 40 participants).
ØAvailability of quality condom provision in every corner of society
ØQuality control should be done by government
ØAwareness raising, sensitization, advocacy, orientation and training should be incorporate in dual protection of condom promotion activity
ØAffordable condom should be available in every emergency situation when people feel to use it
ØReduction on stigma and discrimination regarding condom
ØNational/International condom Day should be organized only one time from government incorporation with civil society organizations
ØPlan and policy of condom promotion activities of government should be implementing as per plan in grass root level smoothly.
ØTimely based research workout regarding condom quality and others
ØAHF’s marketing materials distributed with the message about HIV testing and prevention to care.
Closing of the Program
The program was concluded with a thank you note by Executive Director of program organizing organization Nepal Health Society, Mr. Rishi Raj Ojha. He thanked all the guests and participants for being active and supportive regarding the issue. Furthermore, he requested all to come together to make society make a safe haven where people having any problems will not be stigmatized and discriminated. He repeated his request to government and other concerned authorities to work for the betterment of STI and HIV prevention and its management in the country.
1. Attendance sheet of the participants
2. Program schedule
3. Program material
4. Photographs in attached within the report
5. Sample of correspondence