Report: Uganda facing condom shortage

A condom testing machine. A Ugandan study has said that the country faces a shortage of condoms. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

As Ugandans celebrate Valentine’s Day today, reports show that the east African country is facing a condom shortage.

According to a 2012 Aids Health care Foundation (AHF) report, about 32 per cent Ugandans used condoms last year, a two per cent rise from 2011.

About 100 million condoms are imported into the country annually but the condom status report indicates that an estimated 119 million more male condoms were needed by June 2012.

Uganda has for the last six years been importing condoms from South Korea.

The Ministry of Health says condom distribution over the last five years was below the projected needs and population demands.

The report indicates that condom supplies are not sufficient and regular, which results into stockouts.

“The expected 96 million condoms, which were to be procured by June 2012 through Global Fund delayed because of procurement related issues,” the report reads in part.

But Dr Asuman Lukwago, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, says the country has enough condoms for all users.

“I think we have enough condoms in the country and we have not had any complaints in that field. Most Ugandans know that if used correctly, condoms can prevent HIV infections,” Dr Lukwago says.

However, Mr Henry Magala, the country programme director Uganda Cares, a local NGO in the HIV/Aids fight, says the demand for condoms is growing.

“Even if we import about 120 million condoms a year, the demand is still high. A quick calculation is that every person has four condoms for a full year. Condoms offer about 95 per cent protection,” Mr Magala said.

Mr Magala says in 2010, more than one million condoms were distributed, including 43,200 on Valentine’s Day

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