In late November TAC reported on a national shortage of male latex condoms which threatened to undermine HIV prevention programmes over the holiday season. The condom shortage arose from delays in the national tendering process. TAC has been closely monitoring the situation over the course of the past few weeks. We are pleased to report that we have recently received confirmation from senior National Department of Health (NDoH) officials that the condom shortage has now been alleviated through the urgent importation of several million male latex condoms.
According to the information we have received: seven million condoms arrived in the country last week with a further 18 million expected to arrive over the course of the next two weeks. The Department will furthermore place an order for additional stock before the end of the year. While we welcome the news that the condom shortage has been alleviated, we urge the Department to take proactive steps to avoid such stock-outs from occurring again in the future. We reiterate our call for a review of the national and provincial planning for condom procurement and distribution.