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State set to act on faulty condoms

Published Oct 19, 2007

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By Chiara Carter and Sibusiso Ngalwa

More government-supplied free condoms have been identified as potentially faulty, heightening concern over whether already distributed substandard condoms have endangered public health.

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Health Ministry spokesperson Sibani Mngadi on Thursday confirmed that the department heard last week that five out of 13 batches of condoms manufactured by a private supplier Kohr were found to be faulty by the SA Bureau of Standards. Each batch contains between 150 000 and 200 000 condoms.

The SABS is re-examining some government condoms following the Zalatex condom scandal earlier this year.

That saw the Health Department quarantine stocks and recall millions of condom supplies from batch number 4308/ZLK after the discovery that an SABS official was allegedly bribed to say these condoms met the required quality standards.

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According to Mngadi, no serious problems had so far been found in the condoms supplied by two of these three companies, and further tests would be undertaken on the others.

Mngadi added that the government was not hiding anything and would not hesitate to act if the condoms were found to be below par.

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