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Mon Apr 21 16:53:31 SAST 2014

Kenya hit by acute condom shortage

Moyagabo Maake and Sapa-AFP | 24 March, 2011 07:470 Comments
A mascot holds balloons made of condoms.
Image by: CHAIWAT SUBPRASOM

Kenyan authorities say the country is in the midst of a massive condom shortage due to high demand and procurement difficulties.

An emergency order of 45 million condoms was made to the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief programme and they are due in Kenya 10 April.

Kenyan National AIDS Control Programme deputy director Peter Cherutich said the government had signed a long-term agreement with the United Nations Population Fund to supply 180 million condoms from May.

Meanwhile, desperate Kenyans have been filmed by Kenya’s Citizen Television washing condoms in order to use them again.

Augustine Moto of a village near Isiolo in North Eastern Kenya told health NGO Healthy Action that “because there is [a] scarcity of condoms in this area we have resorted to ‘saving’ the few that we get. For example after I finish with one, I wash it, let it dry, dip it in camel salad – fats we produce from the milk of our camels - then I preserve it for use next time.”

Social networking site Twitter was abuzz with users expressing shock at the news.

“My goodness...re-using condoms n using polythene bags! wats this country coming to...shame on Kenya!” (sic) said Eunice Wanjiru from Rwanda.

“Government stopped importing condoms from China because there were complaints that they do no fit,” said David Njuki from Nairobi.

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