Zimbabwe’s health minister, David Parirenyatwa, encouraged local businesses to start manufacturing condoms, believing that imported ones do not all meet people’s expectations.
According to NewsZimbabwe, the minister made this statement at the recent launch of a new board for the Zimbabwe Private Sector on HIV/AIDS Co-ordination Program (ZPSHAWP).
Condoms are a type of contraception that can both prevent pregnancy and protect against sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Parirenyatwa said most of the condoms available in the country are imported from China, adding that some men do not find them quite the right size.
“You know that this region of southern Africa has the highest rate of HIV and we encourage the use of condoms; for men and women,” said the minister.
“Young people now have a particular condom that they like but we do not make them. We import condoms from China and some men complain that they are too small.
“We must look at this; you must be able to make your own condoms. So, if you want to be a big businessman, then make them (condoms) for the area.”
Some 109.4 million male condoms were distributed across Zimbabwe in 2016, or 33 per individual for the year.
This makes Zimbabwe one of five countries to meet or exceed the United Nations Population Fund’s (UNDP) regional mark of 30 male condoms per man per year.
Condoms are one of the key measures used in the country by the government and development partners in the fight against HIV infections.
Zimbabwe has the sixth highest HIV prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa with 13.5%, and with 1.3 million people living with the virus in 2016.