There has been a spike in s.e.xually transmitted infection (STI) cases in Gauteng, in part due to a shortage of condoms.
The Gauteng Department of Health said STIs, including male urethritis syndrome, increased from 5 486 to 6 035 between February 2022 and February this year.
The department said the shortage of male and female condoms had affected all its districts, adding: “Contract RT75_condom suppliers didn’t have stock to deliver to the province from the inception of the new contract in February 2022 as suppliers were awaiting SABS sample approval prior to ordering bulk stock from the manufacturers.”
The department said the shortages were also reported at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. New stock that was eventually delivered needed to be cleared by the SANB adding the delivery of orders started in August last year and continued in all affected districts.
It said suppliers who had completed the deliveries of their annual delivery stock would deliver excess stock.
Jack Bloom, DA’s Gauteng health spokesperson, said condom shortages in the province were “a disgrace”.
Bloom said the province experienced a downward trend in the number of condoms distributed since 2017/18. He added that it needed to appoint suppliers that delivered timeously.
He said: “Since the high point of condom distribution in 2017/18, there has been a downward trend in the number of condoms distributed. In 2021/22, only 129 million male condoms and 5.2 million female condoms were distributed – a 45% decline.
“It is disgraceful that a common item like condoms is in short supply in Gauteng. They have a vital role in family planning and the prevention of HIV/Aids and other STIs.”
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