A further setback as more condoms recalled

The recall yesterday of condoms supplied by Kohrs comes after the earlier withdrawal of Zalatex condoms (which distributed condoms produced by Latex Surgical Products).

A Zalatex employee was found to have bribed an official of the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) to approve condoms that were not conforming to the quality standards.  

The Department removed from circulation condoms supplied by Zalatex that were suspected of not meeting the quality standard. More than 5 million condoms were recalled at the time and another 7 million quarantined at the company’€™s warehouse.

Last month, the Department of Health stated that according to the internal audit at the SABS there were anomalies requiring a further investigation of more batches of condoms supplied by at least three of the seven companies responsible for the tender. These companies were Kohrs Medical, Juel Health and Sekunjalo.

‘€œAt least five batches belonging to Kohrs were sampled and they failed an airburst test,’€ Health minister Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang revealed in a press briefing.

The SABS reported to the Department of Health that based on the results, SABS was suspending Kohrs’€™ use of the SABS mark/certificate until remedial action was taken by the company to rectify the quality issues.
Samples tested relating to Juel Health and Sekunjalo were found to be of adequate quality.

Based on the conclusions of the SABS audit process, the Department is recalling the products supplied by Kohrs.

‘€œWe appeal to the public and all partners involved in the distribution and promotion of the use of condoms to assist with the recall of these condoms,’€ urged the minister.

The condoms produced by Kohrs are identifiable with the manufacturer’€™s code 6809/MED/.

According the Treatment Action Campaign these condoms are distributed under the following brand names:

  • Those with the manufacturer’s code 6809/MED/ (Choice)
  • Ultramour
  • LSP
  • Makoya  
  • Randy Rat
  • Condom Concept
  • Positions    
  • African skins
  • Choice ‘€“ Lot number 4308/ZLX/

During this financial year, Kohrs has supplied 5 million condoms to the Department. Of this, more than 1 million condoms have been quarantined at the distribution sites.

‘€œIn the same way as we acted against Zalatex, the Department will no longer be procuring any stock from Kohrs,’€ said Tshabalala-Msimang.  
She said the quantities that would have been supplied by Zalatex and Kohrs – which is nine and 15 percent respectively of the projected 425 million male condoms supplied per annum – will be shared equitable amongst the other five companies over the remaining period of the contract ending in February 2008.

The TAC said it was critical to restore confidence in government’s condom distribution programme.

It welcomed the Department’s commitment to resolving this issue.

‘€œWe ask the Department and the South African Bureau of Standards to follow this up by indicating precisely what measures they have taken to reduce the likelihood of  faulty condoms passing quality control again,’€ the TAC statement said.
* Please note that if you have condoms with the manufacturer’s code 6809/MED/ on them, they should be returned to the Department of Health. The address is:
Department of Health – HIV Unit,
226 Vermeulen Street,
Hallmark Building,
Pretoria 0001


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