/ 10 February 2008

Manto: 11-million condoms recalled after quality concerns

The Health Department recalled 10,8-million condoms after the country was hit by ”quality issues” during last year, Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said on Sunday.

”Yes, we have had a challenge recently with regard to quality issues, but once this was brought to our attention we acted on the matter.”

Speaking at the launch of the department’s programme for sexually transmitted infections and Condom Week for 2008 in Kroonstad, Tshabalala-Msimang said more than 10,8-million condoms were collected on the recall programme after they were found to have been illegally certified.

This followed reports in August 2007 that a company that supplied the government with condoms was suspected to have bribed an official of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) to approve condoms that did not meet quality standards.

Tshabalala-Msimang said since then government had subjected all supplied condoms to rigorous testing.

”We are proud to declare today [Sunday] that this matter has since been laid to rest,” she said in a speech prepared for the event.

Tshabalala-Msimang said the SABS was committed to continue testing and to preventing a repeat of the incident ”where some individual or individuals put the lives of millions of people at risk because of greed”. — Sapa