#InCaseYouMissedIt: 1.35 million Condoms recalled in South Africa

By Hauwa Gambo

Some were panicking because they were infected with AIDS and were concerned for their partners.

Another condom scandal has rocked South Africa with its health department recalling 1.35 million defective condoms given away at the African National Congress centenary celebrations. 

It is important to remember that South Africa has the world’s highest number of AIDS victims at 5.6 million and between 2007 and 2008, over 25 million condoms manufactured locally had to be recalled.

The most recent outrage began after people complained that some of the condoms received at the ANC event broke during intercourse and others were porous, an official said yesterday.

Some were panicking because they were infected with AIDS and were concerned for their partners. 

Spokesman Jabu Mbalula of the health department of Free State province, which distributed the condoms before the January 6-8 celebrations, said they had recalled the entire batch of 1,350,000 condoms around January 18.

He said there was no need for a panic. But AIDS activist, Sello Mokhalipi of the Treatment Action Campaign disagrees.  Mokhalipi said: “We poured water into the condoms and they were leaking, not just in one place, they were leaking like a sieve. Looking at them, you can see there are small pores,” he said. 

Health department spokesman Mbalula said pouring water into a condom and applying pressure was not a proper test, though Mokhalipi denied applying pressure. “How can they say people should not panic if there are still clearly people out there in possession of these condoms,” Mokhalipi said. He finally recommended that those who had used condoms that allegedly had burst should be told to get post-exposure tests and treatment. 

South Africa’s government sources its condoms from several companies and rebrands them with its colourful CHOICE packaging, in bright blue, red, yellow and green. The government distributed more than 400 million free condoms in 2010.

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