By OGIA MIAMEL
MORE than five million condoms remain at Murray Barracks awaiting the appointment of a National AIDS Council director to facilitate the payment of rental fees.
Deputy Health Secretary Dr Paison Dakulala said the condoms should have been released long ago before the start of the general election.
The boxes of condoms can only be released after a payment is made by the council to the military for the storage fees. But the council has been waiting for a director to be appointed to authorise the payment.
“We are facing a lot of challenges regarding the condoms stored in one of our settings in Port Moresby. We have had difficulty to get them,” he said.
“We are talking about five million condoms that are still to be released. Our hope is that the National AIDS Council comes on board pays. The director is in the process to be brought in to enable this institution to carry out its mandate.
“The big part of what it does is in the preventative role of condoms and so they are custodians of this. We have been for a number of years working on how we deal with condom distribution for the whole country.”
He said recent evidence indicated that there was an increase in the use of condoms around the country.
“They realise the importance of getting the preventative measures and condoms play a big role,” he said.
“For a number of years, we have been working on what we call a comprehensive condom strategy that has gone through discussion with all key stakeholders.
“It was also a very important part to this. And so going forward, we will continue to finalise this policy so that at the highest level as an oversight to see where all these condoms go.
“We monitor that and understand its coverage and at the end of the day I think we should have whole of Papua New Guinea using condoms and accessing it.”
By OGIA MIAMEL