Health fears have been sparked after Kenyan authorities destroyed condoms worth Sh10 million ($100,000) for failing to meet quality standards.
The male latex condoms from Fiesta brand were found to contain holes and of unreliable thickness, said the country’s drug regulatory authority, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB).
The Fiesta brand of condoms had earlier been flagged by the Health Ministry for being substandard and recalled from the market.
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“The recall of the affected batches of the fiesta condoms was concluded on 11th March, 2019 upon which PPB directed the market authorization holder to carry out destruction of the recalled consignment under PPB supervision”, said a statement from the PPB.
The affected condoms were destroyed on March 28, 2019, by the market authorization holder (Deep Kumar Tyagi Healthcare International Limited) at a facility located in Athi River, a town outside the capital Nairobi. The exercise was done under the supervision of drug inspectors from the PPB.
The said condoms were found to be ineffective following tests by the country’s drug inspectors and health regulators from September to November 2018, reports Standard Digital.
The PPB has cautioned members of the public and health workers to be vigilant and report any “suspected poor-quality medicines and suspected drug reactions.”
The caution follows fears that fake condoms could be circulating in the Kenyan market. This comes at a time the country is tackling the increase in new HIV infections, particularly among the youth.
Last November, Kenyan authorities recalled two male condoms – Fiesta Stamina and Fiesta Big Black – for failing safety tests. According to regulators, Fiesta Stamina failed ‘freedom from holes’ test while Fiesta Big Black failed ‘thickness’ test.
It remains unclear how these substandard condoms make their way into the market, but officials continue to urge citizens to be more vigilant when buying and using such products.
Condoms are known to be used for contraceptive purposes and to prevent sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhoea, AIDS, chlamydia, and herpes.
However, faulty condoms that are made of substandard material could tear easily, increasing one’s chances of transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
Last July, a Kenyan man dragged the country’s quality control body, the tax revenue authority and a pharmaceutical company to court after alleging that he contracted a sexually transmitted disease for using substandard condoms.
According to the man, he bought the said condom, produced by Beta Healthcare, with the belief that it would please his partner and offer them protection but the condom burst.
The disgruntled man indicated that he ended up infecting his wife with a sexually transmitted infection, a situation he believes should not have occurred if the condom was of good quality.