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Tanzania Rejects Shipment of Defective Chinese Condoms

May 21, 2002

Tanzania is returning a shipment of 10 million Chinese condoms because many of the prophylactics are defective, an official said Friday. The condoms "have weak points," such as holes and soft spots that cause them to break under pressure, said Assistant Health Minister Hussein Mwinyi. The nine shipping containers holding the condoms arrived last month. The condoms were found to be defective after being tested by the Tanzania Bureau of Standards, he said. The condoms will soon be shipped back to the Chinese manufacturer, who is expected to destroy them, Mwinyi said.

The condoms, worth about $60,000, were paid for and imported to Tanzania by the UN Fund for Population Activities, Mwinyi said. The fund purchased the condoms from a company in Singapore that contracted a manufacturer in Qingdao, China, to make the prophylactics, said Mwinyi, who did not know the name of either company. Condoms are readily available in shops throughout Tanzania, but most cost more than the average Tanzanian can afford. The Chinese condoms were earmarked for free distribution at health clinics and other places. Without the 10 million Chinese condoms, the health ministry has only one month's supply of condoms left, although the government is currently working to secure a fresh batch, Mwinyi said.

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Associated Press

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