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Are govt condoms reliable?

Written by Health-e News

The recent corruption scandal at the South African Bureau of Standards, which resulted in huge numbers of condoms reaching the public without undergoing the necessary testing procedures, has helped fuel the already existing negative perception about the reliability of government condoms.

The audio is in isiZulu. See the English summary below.

MABUTHO: Naphezu kokuba wonke amakhondomu asatshalaliswa kuleli laseNingizimu Africa enophawu olukhombisa ukuthi ahloliwe ngabenhlangano iSouth African Bureau of Standards (SABS), kepha abantu abaningi banenkolelo yokuthi amakhondomu kahulumeni ngenxa yokuthi atholakala mahhala awekho ezingeni elifanayo nalawo athengwayo.

VOXPOPS:

1.VOICE: The thing is there is nothing for mahhala. Government condoms are not reliable.

2. VOICE: Awakagovernment awekho reliable …awavikeli lutho. Kungcono uye kothenga ngoba into oyithengayo uyazi ukuthi ‘€¦uthenga iquality, into oyaziyo ukuthi izobambelela isikhathi eside.

3.VOICE: Wona areliable. It’€™s just that ilevel yereliability compared to lawa amanye from different companies that are strictly in the industry yokwenza amakhondomu iphansi. Preferebly, I would go for lawa athengwayo.

MABUTHO: Ingabe kuyiqiniso elingakanani ukuthi lamakhondomu amahhala awaphephile okanye ukuphepha kwawo akukho ezingeni elifanayo nalawo athengwayo? UDavid Nowitz uyiMarketing Manager enhlanganweni ezimele iSociety for Family Health esabalalisa lamakhondomu amahhala kahulumeni kanye nawayo lenkampani abizwa ngama Lovers’€™ Plus kanye nabizwa ngokuthi ayi Trust kubalwa nawabesifazane. Ephawula ngamakhondomu avela kuhulumeni amahhala, abizwa ngokuthi ayi ‘€œChoice’€, oka Nowitz uthi akulona iqiniso ukuthi amakhondomu kahulumeni awekho ezingeni elifanayo nalawo athengwayo.  Uthi loluhlobo lwamakhondomu luhlolwa ngendlela efanayo nalawo athengwayo ngakho asikho isidingo sokuthi kube nokwesaba ngawo.

DAVID NOWITZ: The public sector condoms, the ‘€Choice’€ brand, is tested to the same technical stringent requirements as any of the brands that are sold, and we have absolutely 100% confidence in the quality of the public sector condoms.

MABUTHO: Oka Nowitz uthi umphakathi okumele ukwazi ukuthi ayikho ikhondomu ephephe ngokuphelele kubalwa  nalawo athengwayo. Uthi okuyikhona okwandisa amathuba okungaphephi kwamakhondomu ukuthi abantu abaningi abakwazi ukuwasebenzisa ngendlela efanele.

DAVID NOWITZ: No condom is 100% safe. Typically, condoms used in the way that people use them are between 80% and 90% safe because most people do not know how to use condoms correctly. But if used 100% correctly every time, probably 95% safe. But most people don’€™t know how to use condoms correctly.

MABUTHO: Nokho oka Nowitz uyavuma ukuthi mukhulu umonakalo odalwe isigameko sakamuva sokuphasiswa kwalamakhondomu kahulumeni ngale kokuhlolwa kwi South African Bureau of Standards.

DAVID NOWITZ: Obviously, damage was done. I am not going to tell you that it did not result to damage in the minds of the end user. ‘€¦Unfortunately, it has resulted in the negative impact.

MABUTHO: UNowitz nakuba azi ukuthi mukhulu umonakalo owadalwa ilesisigameko sokuphasiswa kwamakhondomu angahlolwanga kodwa uthi kumele kwazeke ukuthi amakhondomu kahulumeni atholakala njengamanje aphephile. UNowitz uthi kumele abantu baqonde futhi ukuthi lesisigameko sokuphasiswa kwamakhondomu angahlolwanga kuyinto engajwayelekile ukwenzeka.

DAVID NOWITZ:   The end user needs to know that it was an isolated incident a few people that were involved (in). Immediately after that all those condoms were withdrawn. The end user can get assured that the condom that they’€™re using, the public ‘€Choice’€ condom, is a fantastic brand.

MABUTHO: Nakuba kuvela ukuthi amakhondomu awaphephile ngokugcwele kepha njengoba lingakatholakali ikhambi lokuvimbela igciwane le HIV kusho ukuthi asazoqhubeka nokuba ingxenye yezinhlelo ezintathu zokuphepha ezigqugquzelwa kuleli. Lezinhlelo zibalula ukuthi abantu bangalwenzi ucansi, bathembeke kwabathandana nabo kanye nokuthi basebenzise amakhondomu.  

See the English summary below.

 Are govt condoms reliable?

The recent corruption scandal at the South African Bureau of Standards, which resulted in huge numbers of condoms reaching the public without undergoing the necessary testing procedures, has helped fuel the already existing negative perception about the reliability of government condoms.

In a snap survey conducted by Health-e on the streets of Johannesburg, Gauteng, most respondents said government condoms ‘€œare not reliable’€. Here’€™s a sample of the vox-pops:

 ‘€œThe thing is there is nothing for mahhala (free). Government condoms are not reliable.’€

 

Another one said, ‘€œgovernment condoms are not reliable. It is better to buy condoms because the quality is guaranteed.’€  

 

Another respondent had this to say: ‘€œThey are reliable. It’€™s just that the level of reliability is low compared to those that are branded. Preferably, I would go for those that you buy from the shop.’€

 

However, David Nowitz, the Marketing Manager of the Society for Family Health, a section 21 company that distributes government condoms and markets its own range of condoms under the ‘€œLovers’€™ Plus’€ and ‘€œTrust’€ brands as well as ‘€œCare’€, a female condom, holds a different view. He says it is not true that government condoms are not reliable.

 

‘€œThe public sector condoms, the ‘€Choice’€ brand, is tested to the same technical stringent requirements as any of the brands that are sold, and we have absolutely 100% confidence in the quality of the public sector condoms,’€ said Nowitz.

 

Nowitz, however, warns that the safety of all condoms, including the branded ones, have a limitation.

 

‘€œNo condom is 100% safe. Typically, condoms used in the way that people use them are between 80% and 90% safe because most people do not know how to use condoms correctly. But if used 100% correctly every time, probably 95% safe. But most people don’€™t know how to use condoms correctly,’€ he said.

 

He agrees that the recent corruption scandal at the South Africa Bureau of Standards has caused massive damage in the minds of the people about government condoms.

 

‘€œObviously, damage was done. I am not going to tell you that it did not result to damage in the minds of the end user. ‘€¦Unfortunately, it has resulted in the negative impact,’€ he said, adding that ‘€œthe end user needs to know that it was an isolated incident that a few people were involved (in). Immediately after that all those condoms were withdrawn. The end user can get assured that the condom that they’€™re using, the public ‘€Choice’€ condom, is a fantastic brand’€.

 

Although condoms are not 100% safe, but they still remain an essential pillar of the government HIV/AIDS prevention strategy ‘€“ which also stresses the values of abstinence from sex and faithfulness in relationships.

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