Peak Performance0 Comment(s)
14 Jan, 2009 20:53:32
Sri Lanka condom use peaking
Jan 14, 2009 (LBO) - Condom use has peaked in Sri Lanka but sales of oral birth control methods such as emergency contraceptives are rising, the island`s top marketer of family planning services said.
The Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka, a non-profit entity, has launched a new anesthetized condom, which can give new life to the condom market.
The condom, branded Stamina will give a `longer love experience` the FPA said.
In Sri Lanka contraceptives are also sold by private drug firms, given free of charge by the government health services and also by the FPA, which sells the products at concessionary prices.
The FPA says in recent years oral contraceptives (OCPs) have been growing at 10 percent year while sales of traditional contraceptives such as condoms have been declining 5 to 10 percent a year.
The FPA says currently it has a market share of 50 percent for condoms and over 95 percent for OCP`s.
`OCP`s are a fast growing because its more convenient for women and condoms have come to the maturity stage, it was growing at a very fast pace sometime back,` says FPA director marketing Suhail Junaid, Director Marketing FPA.
`The Emergency OCP`s are also moving very fast and also the three month injections.`
The three month injections are primarily marketed by the government as its the easiest and cheapest way of getting protection and is mostly used in rural peripheries of the country, officials said.
FPA initially began its operations in Sri Lanka in 1953 as an International Non Governmental Organization (INGO) under a grant from International Planned Parent Federation (IPFF).
`Since early 1950`s what ever government that was in power they had a huge political commitment on improving the health of the country,` says Gamini Wanasekera, Executive Director FPA. .
`As we all know in Sri Lanka the literacy level is quite high compared with other Asian countries and that is another contributory factor.`
Sexuality and contraceptives are somewhat taboo subjects in Asian cultures, which can make it difficult to promote them among the population.
The FPA says the active participation of the government health services removed the distrust, suspicion and the cultural barriers.
`People have this fear that if we educate people on contraceptives people will go into unnecessary social behaviors but in reality that`s not the case,` says Wanasekera.
`What we have realized is more education means people have better choices in terms of their behavior and not only in terms on what contraceptives they use.`
Official say Sri Lanka has been has been able to maintain a low prevalence rate of sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) such as Human immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), gonorrhea and syphilis in the country.
According to the World Bank
figures the HIV prevalence rate in neighboring India
is 0.41 percent population and is nearing epidemic status due to poor use of contraceptives.
The HIV prevalence rate in Sri Lanka is less than 0.1 percent, which officials say is on par with developed countries.
Sexual education and the use of contraceptives prevent outbreaks of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and an unsustainable population explosion.
Economists have pointed out in 1969 the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu banned abortion and birth control. Within a year the birth rate doubled. But economic conditions started to deteriorate.
In 1989, Ceaucescu was overthrown, largely by a revolution led by young people, most of who would not have been alive had not for the ban on birth control.