Alarm over contraband condoms
HEALTH & SCIENCEBy KIBIWOTT KOROSS | Mon,Aug 03 2015 00:00:00 EATBy KIBIWOTT KOROSS | Mon,Aug 03 2015 00:00:00 EAT
An international organisation operating in the country has raised the alarm over substandard condoms being sold locally.
Population Services International Kenya (PSI-K) claims the condoms smuggled into the country from a neighbouring country could scale down the Government's war on HIV and Aids. In a statement, PSI-K said they are worried of the presence of the 'Salama' scented condoms, which are not supposed to be on sale in Kenya.
"The Salama brand of condoms are owned by PSI Tanzania and should only be sold strictly within the borders of Tanzania and therefore outside they are illegal," PSI-K said in a statement.
The statement warned that the contraband could have found its way into the country illegally. If used correctly and consistently, condoms are 97 per cent effective in protecting against unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections including Aids.
However, Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia, said unscrupulous traders had imported the condoms from Tanzania, adding that the condoms found their way into the country since they are cheap in Tanzania.
"I am aware of the report. The products have been getting into the country through the Namanga border," he told The Standard on phone. He said Tanzania had subsidised the price of condoms, thereby attracting the appetite of unscrupulous traders.
Mr Macharia said the ministry will work with the customs department to ensure that those behind the illegal importation of the condoms are arrested and charged.
The CS said evidence shows that the use of condoms and reduction of partners play a vital role in keeping the new infections of HIV low.
He said 100 million condoms are distributed free in the country annually.
"There is an increased use of condoms, which has greatly contributed to the reduction of those infected with the HIV virus. Five years ago few people used condoms unlike today where the number has really gone up," he said.
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