11 November 2016

Kuruman hospitals run out of condoms

Residents of Kuruman have been without free condom supplies, apparently because of the changeover to flavoured and coloured condoms, which are in much higher demand.

Residents of Kuruman in the Northern Cape are up in arms after free condom supplies to local hospitals and clinics have run out.

New condoms more popular

While health authorities have assured people that orders have been placed on time and deliveries are expected shortly, people say they have been without free condom supplies for a long time.

This, they say, is due to the change in the government-issue condoms from standard condoms to newly branded, flavoured and coloured condoms which were much more popular and therefore in higher demand.

The District Department of Health confirmed that they had distributed high numbers of condoms after Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, introduced the new Max condoms last year. This came after public complaints about the old Blue Choice condoms which they said were not lubricated and smelt bad.

Read: Beyond condoms and the snip

According to the District Health Department, their prevention unit would go out every Friday to ensure that all the local hotspots were stocked with condoms. However, there has recently been no stock in the district and so stocks have not been replenished while the district waits on the province to fill their standing order.

Patients waiting in a queue at Kuruman Clinic said they were worried that the current shortage of condoms might further contribute to the rising HIV infection rate in the area. A healthcare worker said this was a good time for people to practice abstinence or make use of the available female condoms.

Increased access

The Northern Cape Health Department’s communications officer Lulu Mxekezo said the province had introduced a massive public health condom distribution programme to offer free condoms to disadvantaged South Africans.

This was after Minister Motsoaledi introduced the new range of coloured condoms as part of a strategy to revive and rejuvenate interest in condoms among the sexually active population and in that way reduce HIV and STI infections and prevent unwanted pregnancies.

Read: Condoms for your teenager?

The new condoms were also distributed at non-traditional outlets such as taverns, petrol stations, hotels and tuck shops in order to increase access.

Mxekezo said bulk orders were delivered every quarter, meaning that the Northern Cape would be taking delivery from the national condom suppliers after the first week of November. Areas that had run out of supplies would be prioritised, she said.

She added that areas that had reported stock shortages had in the meantime received consignments of the old Blue Choice condoms as well as two varieties of female condoms. – Health-e News.

Read more:

French need biggest condoms

The facts about condoms

Condoms don’t compromise erections


Live healthier

Lifestyle »

E-cigarettes: Here are five things to know

E-cigarettes have become hugely popular in the past decade, but a rash of vaping-linked deaths and illnesses in the US is feeding caution about a product that's already banned in some places.

Allergy »

Ditch the itch: Researchers find new drug to fight hives

A new drug works by targeting an immune system antibody called immunoglobulin E, which is responsible for the allergic reaction that causes hives.