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Condom distribution to begin next week

By | April 14th 2011

By Elizabeth Mwai

Distribution of the 35 million condoms worth about Sh82 million imported from China will begin next week.

The Government is finalising with the distribution list to be released today as offloading of the shipment is underway in Mombasa.

National Aids and STD Control Program (Nascop) Director Nicholas Muraguri yesterday said there would be guidelines on the quantities to be distributed in each region.

"We are currently verifying the stocks of condom quantities in health facilities so that we know the amount required," said Dr Muraguri.

In an interview with The Standard, Muraguri said distribution would be done in health and community centres with the help of civil society groups.

Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa) Chief Executive Officer John Munyu said all systems were set for the distribution.

Dr Munyu said they were waiting for the distribution list from Nascop to start the exercise.

Minna, the vessel ferrying the condoms docked at Kilindini harbour on Friday last week with eight containers with 35 million male and 600,000 female condoms.

It would take about three days to offload the consignment after it is cleared.

The consignment arrived after the Kenyan Government appealed to the USAid for 45 million condoms to mitigate the existing shortage.

Two weeks ago, Public Health Minister Beth Mugo there was shortage of eight million condoms but assured that the situation was only short term.

Mugo had attributed the shortage to increased condoms use from 12 million to 20 million, a claim some top Government officials disputed.

The critis accused the Government of trying to cover for the UN’s failure to bring in 180 million condoms expected in the country by last December.

However, in the past one week details reaching the media were that logistical problems at United National Population Fund led to the delay.

However, UNFPA country representative Dr Stephen Wanyee said World Bank was late in releasing the money.

Wanyee said UNFPA received the money from the Bank 10 months after getting the deal to procure the condoms.

In addition he said the delay was caused by the Government’s request for the condoms to be branded and to come with pamphlets.

The World Bank had given Kenya Sh1 billion to buy condoms.

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