Unlike the usual stock out during the festive season, Kibirige says they planned early this time to address the overwhelming demand on the two exciting days. The communication comes a month after the National Drug Authority (NDA) ordered Marie topes Uganda to recall more than 3 million Lifeguard condoms from the market.
More than 30 million male and 173,000 female condoms are
ready for distribution nationwide during Christmas and Boxing Day. Vastha
Kibirige, the National Coordinator of the Condom Desk in the Health Ministry
disclosed this to URN.
Unlike the usual stock out during the festive season,
Kibirige says they planned early this time to address the overwhelming demand on
the two exciting days. The communication comes a month after the National Drug
Authority (NDA) ordered Marie topes Uganda to recall more than 3 million Lifeguard
condoms from the market.
Laboratory tests had established that Lifeguard condoms were
of poor quality and that they risked busting while others contained pores. Although the public is still skeptical about
the safety of condoms, Kibirige explained that the available consignment was
tested by the Joint Medical Stores (JMS) and confirmed safe before availing it
She says they are alerting all-district condom desks,
District Health Departments and community-based organisations to make orders
through the JMS to get their consignment in time. According to her, in situations when demand
increases, organisations such as Uganda Cares, DKT-International (Kiss Condoms)
and among others have come in to fill the gap.
However, several districts in the Greater Masaka region are
still complaining about the stock out. In Lyantonde and Kalungu districts, the
condoms usually run out in few weeks due to the heavy presence of commercial
sex workers and truck drivers.
Fred Kalumba, a senior nursing officer in charge of condom
distribution in Lyantonde, says there’s a shortage of condoms in the meantime. He explains that the few available condoms are kept for high-risk groups
mainly commercial sex workers and truck drivers.
Kalumba maintains that the demand is high for male condoms,
adding that the uptake of female condoms is still low. In her response to the complaint, Kibirige
explained that the condoms are distributed on orders. He appealed to all district departments to place their orders
Condoms come third of the recommended strategies for
prevention against HIV in Uganda. They come after Abstinence, Being faithful. UNAIDS statistics indicate that Uganda has 1,400,000 people
living with HIV, 6 % being aged between 15 and 49 years. As of last year, 53
000 people got infected with HIV while 23,000 people died from AIDS-related
Last year, a condom crisis hit Greater Masaka Region. Health
authorities and residents raised concerns fearing the scarcity may trigger more
sexually transmitted infections. Lwengo, Kyotera, Lyantonde and, Kalungu districts were the
most affected. In these districts, virtually all condom dispensers in
different health centers are empty amid high demand.