The Department of Health is seeking a supplier for 70,000 condoms for the department’s annual resupply.
The order will include 22,100 lubricated condoms, 12,900 non-latex condoms, 10,000 condoms with “youth friendly” and “LGBTQ positive” messages or images on the wrapper, 9,000 ribbed condoms, and 5,100 female internal condoms, among others.
The prophylactics will be distributed at no charge by community health workers in all Nunavut communities as part of a harm reduction program, said Kim Barker, the territory’s chief medical officer of health. Twelve new condom dispensers, which are also part of the order, will be added to the 100 or so already set up in health centres, community halls, arena and rec centre washrooms, high schools and airports across Nunavut.
The department’s annual order of 70,000 condoms has been consistent for several years, but nurses and doctors will send for more if needed, Barker added.
The department hasn’t determined whether this program specifically has impacted sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates in the territory, Barker acknowledged.
“However, there is evidence that similar condom distribution programs have reduced STI rates. Using condoms reduces the risk of STIs and pregnancy,” she stated. “Anyone with questions about birth control, STIs and safer sex can talk to their nurse or community health representative at the health centre.”