Flesh to Flesh: ‘Condom Shortages’ Could Ignite Diseases, Pregnancies

Bulawayo – Nothing, even the shortage of condoms on the market can derail the world oldest profession.

The just concluded 58th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in the city of Kings could have drained the last stocks of the much-trusted Protector Plus condoms, causing the current ‘short supply’ in local shops and vending sites.

The new brand of Protector Plus is adored for its fruity flavours, sleekness and stylish packaging, in contrast to the old packaging.
Condom Shortages Hit Bulawayo

Vendors selling the product for $0.50 to $1, the cheapest compared to pharmacies and nightclubs which are expensive.

“I can confirm that Protector Plus condoms are in short supply and people are actually in a dilemma. The flavoured condoms range is extremely popular and is also affordable so much that the service providers are unable to keep up with demand,” revealed a vendor to B metro identified as Diva.

The concerned vendor says the shortage could lead to STIs and unwanted pregnancies.

“Currently where we are getting them from they are out of stock. I am afraid that the shortage, if it continues, can lead to unwanted pregnancies and contracting of sexually transmitted diseases since most of the times people, especially those leaving clubs, would be looking for them on their way home,” added the vendor.

The free optional versions, nicknamed maDeMbare for their blue colour, are loathed by pleasure seekers. “People always complain that they experience an allergic reaction whenever they use free condoms especially maDeMbare, the free blue condoms (blue like the Dynamos football club uniform) make them develop rash,” said another street vendor.

Users believe free condoms are ‘rejects’.

“They don’t trust these condoms because they are suspicious of anything that is given for free. That is why they would rather buy from us for $1 than even going to the supermarkets or pharmacies where a packet costs between $2 and $3,” he proceeded.

The procurement process has been blamed for the artificial shortage, according to a government official. Condoms are tested and certified by Population Services International Zimbabwe (PSI) before final distribution.

PSI says they have not received formal reports of condom shortages – however the packaging has improved, attractive and tamper evident proof.

Zimbabwe gets 28 million condoms per year via private sectors and workplaces. Twenty eight percent of distributed products are Protector Plus brands, reveals PSI. – www.tinzwei.com/Online Sources

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