The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has issued a critical call to action aimed at encouraging young people in Sierra Leone to prioritize the use of condoms as a vital tool in safeguarding themselves against HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and unintended pregnancies.

Nadia Rasheed, the UNFPA Country Representative, highlighted the concerning rates of low condom usage, citing data from the 2019 Demographic Health Survey, which revealed that only a small percentage of women and men in Sierra Leone are using condoms with non-marital partners. Given the high prevalence of adolescent pregnancy in Sierra Leone, with one in three women becoming pregnant before the age of 18, this statistic is particularly troubling.

Speaking on International Condom Day, Rasheed stressed the essential role condoms play in public health. She emphasized that condoms are simple, affordable, and effective, providing crucial protection against HIV, STIs, and unintended pregnancies. By using condoms, individuals can take control of their health and well-being.

The UNFPA’s call to action is a response to the urgent need to address low condom usage rates in Sierra Leone, especially among young people. Condoms are proven to be one of the most effective methods of preventing the transmission of HIV and other STIs, as well as providing reliable contraception to prevent unintended pregnancies and reduce the risks associated with unsafe abortions.

To combat the challenges posed by low condom usage, the UNFPA advocates for increased awareness and education about the importance of condom usage, along with improved access to affordable and quality condoms throughout Sierra Leone. These efforts are part of a broader strategy to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights in the country.

By encouraging young people to embrace condom usage, the UNFPA aims to empower individuals to make informed decisions about their sexual health and protect themselves and their partners from the risks associated with unprotected sex. As Sierra Leone grapples with the consequences of low condom usage and high rates of HIV, STIs, and unintended pregnancies, the UNFPA’s call to action serves as a crucial reminder of the importance of safe and responsible sexual practices.

In conclusion, increased condom usage can help individuals take control of their health and contribute to the overall well-being of the community.


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