Pensioner condom innovation rubs up MEC the wrong way

08 January 2014 - 02:23 By NASHIRA DAVIDS

The term condomise has an alternative healing meaning to many arthritis sufferers. Condoms have even helped hikers in the bush and it has given neat freaks an edge.

The sticky issue around using condoms for things other than practicing safe sex has raised its head again after Mpumalanga MEC for health, Candith Mashego-Dlamini, asked the elderly to stop using the condom's lubricant to ease pain in their joints.

"MEC [Mashego-Dlamini] was discouraging the elderly when she heard about them rubbing their knees with condoms. She called on those who were practising to stop as condoms are meant for something other than rubbing knees,'' said her Mashego-Dlamini's spokesman Ronnie Masilela.

Joe Maila, spokesman for Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, said there is ''no scientific proof'' that the condom's lubricant can help arthritis sufferers.

But a grandmother from Cape Town - who asked not to be named - disagrees. She has been using condoms for three years.

"It is not a cure for my arthritis, but it eases the pain,'' she said.

Another gogo from the Mother City uses it to clean her CDs.

Even those in high profile jobs such use it to shine their shoes.

"You take the condom out of the wrapper and simply rub it on the shoes. It is better than shoe polish because it keeps my black shoes shinny for longer,'' said an advertising executive.

A man from Johannesburg said he keeps condoms in his emergency kit when he goes hiking.

"My wife was really upset when she found the condoms but you can carry water in it! Tampons can be used to absorb blood better than anything - should you get a nasty cut,'' he said.

For the 2011/2012 period a total of 392 706 000 male condoms were distributed nationally.

Maila warned that people using condoms for other reasons are being ''extremely irresponsible''.

"We just want to appeal to the public not to misuse the condoms,'' he said.