The Ministry of Health and Marie Stopes Uganda have announced the return of Lifeguard condoms to the Ugandan market after being cleared and certified by the National Drug Authority.
Last year, NDA recalled two batches of Life Guard Condoms that were supplied on the market but were later found to be defective.
In a letter dated October 30, 2019 to Marie Stopes Uganda, the main distributors of Life Guard condoms, NDA said some condoms had been found to have holes while others burst.
NDA instructed Marie Stopes to recall the condoms and give them a report concerning the distribution details of the batches; clients notified of the recall; clients who responded to the recall and a list of clients who did not respond to the recall.
However, according to Dr Charles Olaro, the Director in charge of Curative Services and the Focal Point for Family Planning in the Ministry of Health , the condoms manufactured by Thai Nippon Rubber industries (TNR) a UNFPA prequalified condom manufacturer have been tested and certified for distribution on the Ugandan market.
“They are electronically tested for safety and reliability, biocompatibility according to ISO 10993 and are subjected to periodic nitrosamine and protein testing. All condom batches are also subjected to electrolyte water testing for leakage and are tested for burst strength and elasticity using of air inflation testing equipment. Having been certified by the National Drug Authority, we are confident that Lifeguard has met strict quality control measures and is safe for use by Ugandans,”Olaro said.
The estimated annual condom need for socially marketed and commercial condoms in Uganda is 20 million condoms and Lifeguard contributes about 43% of this market.
According to Olaro reiterates that the withdrawal of Life Guard condoms last year left a huge gap
that could potentially undermine government’s efforts to curb the spread of HIV, in line with the Presidential Fast-track Initiative on ending HIV and AIDS in Uganda by 2030.
Dr. Carole Sekimpi, the Country Director of Marie Stopes Uganda underscored the role played by condoms in the country.
“Condoms play a vital role in preventing unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. We are committed to providing products of the highest quality. We have strict quality controls in place and have a World Health Organization pre-qualified laboratory as our quality assurance/quality control partner to ensure that this product meets the strictest national and international standards,”Ssekimpi noted.
“The new Lifeguard condoms are available in pharmacies, health facilities, supermarkets, and shops countrywide.”