From the government’s notice on Friday recalling two male condoms — Fiesta Stamina and Fiesta Big Black — for failing safety tests, Kenyans have been urged to be more vigilant when buying and using the products.
There are fears that fake condoms could be circulating in the Kenyan market.
This comes at a time the country is grappling with rising new HIV infections, particularly among the youth.
In a press release sent to newsrooms, Pharmacy and Poisons Board said Fiesta Stamina failed ‘freedom from holes’ test while Fiesta Big Black failed ‘thickness’ test.
Dr Jacinta Wasike named the batches affected as DL1608 for Fiesta Stamina and PL1625 for Fiesta Big Black, which are both manufactured by Cupid Limited, a company whose Google search results shows it’s based in India.
It is not clear how the substandard condoms made their way into shops, supermarkets and other outlets where people buy them unsuspectingly.
For all available contraceptives, none comes close to the condom in its dual qualities of contraceptive efficacy and safety profile scores.
However, despite this superiority over other methods, condoms face quality challenges hence putting the lives of users at risk.
The Nation has established that the condoms cost Sh120 in supermarkets, and come in scented flavours: Strawberry, chocolate and vanilla.
The letter addressed to Surgipharm Limited notes:
“You are hereby directed to immediately institute a recall of the affected batch and submit a recall plan within two days of receipt of this letter.”
Surgipharm is a Nairobi-based company that imports and distributes pharmaceutical, medical, surgical, diagnostic and consumer health products.
Condoms are celebrated for the dual role of being both a contraceptive method and a barrier against sexually transmitted infections, but their success is tied to correct and consistent use.
However, faulty condoms can increase the chances of transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
Early this year, the Population Services Kenya, which distributes Trust brand of condoms, raised the red flag over fake condoms in the Kenyan market.