Bolarinwa, O. A. (2020). Factors associated with limited access to condoms and sources of condoms during the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa. medRxiv (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory). https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.09.11.20192849
Evidence has shown that the prescribed lockdown and physical distancing due to the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have made accessing essential health care services much more difficult in low-and middle-income countries. Access to contraception is an essential service and should not be denied, even in a global crisis, because of its associated health benefits. Therefore, it is important to maintain timely access to contraception without unnecessary barriers. Hence, this study examines the factors contributing to limited access to condoms and preferred source of condoms during the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa.
This study used data from the National Income Dynamics Study-Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM) wave 1 survey. The NIDS-CRAM is a nationally representative survey of the National Income Dynamics Survey (NIDS), which involves a sample of South Africans from 2017 NIDS wave 5, who were then re□interviewed via telephone interview. This is the first secondary dataset on coronavirus from NIDS during the coronavirus pandemic. A total of 5,304 respondents were included in the study. Data were analysed using frequencies and percentages, chi-square test and binary logistic regression analysis.
Almost one-quarter (22.40%) of South Africans could not access condoms, and every 7 in 10 South Africans preferred public source of condoms. Those who were other population groups [aOR=0.37; 95% CI=0.19-0.74] and those who were in the third wealth quintile [aOR=0.60; 95% CI=0.38-0.93] had lower odds of having access to condoms while those respondents who were aged 25-34 [aOR=0.48; 95% CI=0.27-0.83] and those with a secondary level of education and above [aOR=0.24; 95% CI=0.08-0.71] were less likely to prefer public source of condom.
This study concludes that there was limited access to condoms during the COVID-19 pandemic and that the preferred source of condoms was very skewed to public source in South Africa. Strategic interventions such as community distribution of free condoms to avert obstruction of condom access during the COVID-19 pandemic or any future pandemics should be adopted.