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Updated 27 March 2013

Where do all the condoms go?

The condom distribution target was missed by 60% in the 2011/12 financial year according to the South African Institute of Race Relations.

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The condom distribution target was missed by 60% in the 2011/12 financial year according to the South African Institute of Race Relations. Some 399 million condoms, both male and female, were distributed, against a target of just over one billion.

The Western Cape had the highest rate of condom distribution, at 46 male condoms distributed per adult male (aged 15 and older) in 2011. The North West distributed an eighth of this number, at 6 condoms per adult male. This is according to the Health Systems Trust database.

Condoms used per adult

Gauteng and the Northern Cape each distributed 8 condoms per adult male. These were the lowest distribution rates after the North West.

Limpopo distributed 20 condoms per adult male and Mpumalanga 19. These were the highest distribution rates after the Western Cape, but were less than half that of the top performing province. The data was obtained from the Department of Health.

‘Condom distribution is likely to be more difficult in areas with low population density. The Northern Cape, for example, has the lowest population density at three people per square kilometre. This is consistent with its low distribution rate of eight condoms per adult male.

 Gauteng, however, has a population density significantly higher than that of all the other provinces with 675 people per square kilometre, yet it had the same distribution rate as the Northern Cape,’ said Lerato Moloi of the Institute’s research department.

Male condom distribution rates by province, 2011


Province


Condom distribution rate


Population density


Eastern Cape


14.8


38.3


Free State


12.2


21.1


Gauteng


7.9


675.1


KwaZulu-Natal


11.1


108.8


Limpopo


19.7


43.0


Mpumalanga


19.4


52.8


North West


6.0


33.5


Northern Cape


8.3


3.1


Western Cape


45.7


45.0


South Africa


15.8


42.4


Source: Health Systems Trust, www.hst.org.za, accessed 22 February 2013 a  The number of male condoms distributed per male aged 15 and older.


(Picture: condoms on clothesline from Shutterstock)


 
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