‘One size does not fit all’: Chinese condoms are too small for Zimbabweans, says health minister
Health Minister David Parirenyatwa made the comments last week at an awareness event in the capital Harare, according to local media. Despite having one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS infection in the world, most of the condoms in Zimbabwe are imported from China.
According to Parirenyatwa, the imported prophylactics are not fit for the task. “Youths now have a particular condom that they like, but we don’t manufacture them,” the minister said. “We import condoms from China and some men complain they are too small.”
The politician challenged local companies to start manufacturing indigenous condoms instead of relying on Chinese imports. “You need to be able to have your own condoms,” Parirenyatwa said. “If you want to be a big businessman, then manufacture them for the region.”
In response, one Chinese condom manufacturer announced that it is planning to produce condoms of different sizes to satisfy demand. Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Zhao Chuan, chief executive of condom manufacturer Beijing Daxiang, said the company has “the ability and the obligation” to provide condoms of an appropriate size. “We have started to do some surveys on users’ data in the region to make preparations for future products,” he said.
Zimbabwe has some of the worst rates of HIV/AIDS infection among countries in sub-Saharan Africa, with an estimated 13.5 percent of adults in the country infected with HIV. Condoms are a crucial factor in stopping the spread of infection. The country is one of the top five importers of the contraceptive in the world. According to UNAIDS, the number of new HIV infections has almost halved and AIDS-related deaths decreased by 45% since 2010.
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