translation agency

Panafrican News Agency
Condom Crisis Under Control

February 24, 1999
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (PANA) - The South African Department of Health has completed investigations into reports of condoms damaged by staples, which were distributed to people during the Condom Week Campaign earlier this month.

The investigation established that a non-government organisation, collaborating with the Department of Health in the campaign, inadvertently damaged an unknown number of condoms by stapling them onto leaflets with information on the correct usage.

The affected condoms were later distributed in Soweto and Johannesburg. No evidence of similar practices were found in KwaZulu- Natal or elsewhere. The Department said although the exact number of condoms damaged in this process is uncertain, the public has, however been advised against using them.

Meanwhile, all distributors have been alerted to the problem and advised to discontinue the practice.

"The Department of Health commends the media for alerting us to this anomaly. It is through such vigilance, that the vision of Partnership Against AIDS, launched by Deputy President Thabo Mbeki, in October last year, can be translated into concrete action.

"Despite the problem of damaged condoms, the campaign has been successful in sending a clear message to the public, that the use of condoms remains the most effective way of preventing STD's HIV and unwanted pregnancies," said Khnagelani Hlongwane, department spokesman.