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The HSE also told the Medical Independent (MI) it is currently engaged in developing a “communications and educational plan” to help roll-out the planned expansion of the service to people living in ‘direct provision’ asylum seeker accommodation centres.
The NCDS has distributed condoms and lubricant to a wide range of organisations, including those working with men who have sex with men (MSM), young people, migrants, hard-to-reach and at-risk communities, the HSE’s spokesperson told MI.
Some €39,869 had been spent on lubricant sachets and condoms in the first three quarters of 2018.
“In 2018, provisional figures for quarter 1, 2 and 3 indicate that 285,220 condoms and 215,065 lubricant sachets were delivered to services,” said the spokesperson.
In 2016, some 160,704 condoms and 47,223 lubricant sachets were delivered to services, while in 2017, some 405,621 condoms and 205,095 lubricant sachets were delivered under the NCDS.
“From 2015 to 2018 the HSE NCDS has sourced branded condoms and lubricants by open competition from Leeds Trading Company or Pasante UK,” according to the HSE.
The NCDS also distributes condoms and lubricant sachets to student unions and publicly-funded STI clinics.
The distribution of condoms by the NCDS is planned to be extended to direct provision communities in 2019.
“The HSE is developing a plan to expand the provision of free condoms and lubricants to key target populations in 2019. The HSE SHCPP [Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme] has developed a multi-faceted approach to help promote good sexual health among the direct provision community (DPC).
“We are currently working on an integrated communications and educational plan in partnership with key organisations to help facilitate positive sexual health messaging and educational outreach workshops in direct provision centres.
“The workshops will further support, complement and expand the provision of NCDS condoms and lubricants for men and women in DPC. The quantities delivered will be based on need.”