Health ministry celebrates Condom Day


The Ministry of Health has for the first time celebrated Condom Day through a ‘Bake off’ cake activity held at Hermitage House yesterday morning.

The World Condom Day is today and the theme message is ‘CAKE’.

To commemorate the occasion on the usage of condoms for safer sex, the Health Promotion Unit in collaboration with the HIV/Aids Prevention and Control Programme (HAPCP) organised a cake baking competition for staff within the ministry on the ‘CAKE’ theme which is the acronym for consent (C) which requires the consent of both partners before engaging in sex; ask (A) first and not to assume that the other partner wants to have sex; keep (K) it safe which the element of using condoms comes in and use a condom every time (E) when having sex. The message is to get people to use condoms.

There were four entries for the ‘Bake Off’ competition and the grand winner was Claudette Manbe, a secretary at the Psychiatric Unit. Ms Manbe, who also bakes at home, baked a red velvet cake with cream cheese, decorated it with red, green and white mould jelly condoms. As first prize she won a box of organic products sponsored by Urban Island and a R500 voucher from Smart Living. Second prize went to Nancy Tomking, communication officer in the principal secretary’s secretariat and third prize went to the Beau Vallon health centre. The second and third prizes is a R500 voucher each sponsored by the Seychelles Trading Company (STC). The fourth participant was administrative assistant, Virginie Moustache. The cakes were judged on site by four judges -- Vanessa Ikarakwu, principal liaison officer; Anne Finesse, cancer registrar; Archana Nair, nutritionist and Joanne Pragassen, lab technologist.

The cakes were judged on volume and general appearance, originality and creation, technical difficulty, texture and taste and the overall appearance. 

For her participation in the competiton, Ms Manbe said she only entered to try her luck for the first prize.

“I also bake at home and I just wanted to see if I will win the first prize and I won it,” she said smiling.

She said the competition was a good initiative to raise the awareness of the need to use condoms as “too many people are coming to the doctor with different sexually transmitted diseases and I think it’s the right moment to encourage people to use condoms”.

A condom game was also organised where health participants guessed the number of condoms in a jar and the winner was Chantal Rath with 225 and she won a lunch voucher at Eden Bleu sponsored by HAPCP.

All winners received their prizes from the principal secretary for health, Dr Bernard Valentin, in the presence of other staff of the ministry.

Lyn Arrisol, health promotion officer - Aids programme and a member of the organising committee, said as Condom Day was being celebrated for the first time they had seen it proper to organise the activity starting with the Ministry of Health but in relation to direct impact for the public as the staff will also be engaged in sensitising the public on the use of condoms as a means of protection against HIV/Aids, other sexual transmitted diseases, under-age and unwanted pregnancies.

“Sometimes people say we only pass messages on condom use only when we celebrate World Aids Day on December 1. We do pass messages now and then but this time we have brought it on February 14 which is like a reminder to tell people to continue to use condoms,” she said, urging people to use condoms well.

She added that the Health Promotion Unit will be launching programmes to sensitise the public on how to use condoms well and they will also continue with their awareness visits in schools, work places and the community to sensitise the public on health issues.

Condoms are physical barriers which prevent semen from penetrating the body during sexual activities. They are the only method of contraception that also protects against sexually transmitted infections and HIV.

Condoms are given for free by the ministry.










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