Ethiopia Must Discard 69 Million Defective Donated Condoms

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Written by Dana Sanchez

Ethiopia, which has 1.2 million people suffering from AIDS, must destroy 69 million defective condoms paid for by international donors to help fight the spread of the disease, News24 reported.

About 2.4 percent of Ethiopians — population 101 million as of June 23, 2016, according to Worldometers — have AIDS. Rates are significantly higher in the capital Addis Ababa, according to the World Health Organisation.

The $2 million worth of condoms were manufactured by an Indian company and paid for by the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, News24 reported.

The Switzerland-based Global Fund is a financing organization that works to attract and disburse resources to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria.

The condoms failed basic elasticity tests conducted by the Pharmaceuticals Fund and Supply Agency, an Ethiopian government agency, according to a report on local station Radio Fana.

They were rejected by the Quality Control Department after they appeared to rupture easily, according to Kebede Worku, Ethiopia’s junior health minister, ABCNews reported.

The condoms had holes “wide enough to pass liquids through, so we have rejected them,” said Bikila Bayisa, deputy director of Ethiopia’s food and medicine control agency.

The official didn’t say who supplied the condoms but did say the company wants the condoms tested again before it replaces them with a new batch, ABC reported.

The condom supplier will be forced to “reimburse the money and cover all costs in the discarding process,” said Meskele Lera, agency director.

This isn’t the first time Ethiopia has had to deal with large batches of defective condoms, according to an April 19 report in Addis Fortune.

The government has had complaints before about poor quality condoms it purchased from HLL Life Care Ltd., an Indian company which is a major international supplier.

Condoms can deteriorate during storage, according to the Addis Fortune report:

Defective condoms identified at entry point are immediately dumped. Those that made it to the market or that lost quality during storage or otherwise are removed from the market.

“Nowadays holes are becoming the major problem in condoms coming to our office for laboratory tests,” said Bikila Bayisa, deputy director for the Ethiopian Food, Medicines & Health Care Administration & Control Authority.

Ethiopia tests its condoms according to World Health Organization standards.