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Tanzania imports 30 million condoms amid shortage fears

A free condom box

Tanzanian health authorities have imported 30 million condoms to curb a shortage reported earlier this year in the east African country.

Many are concerned about the soaring prices of condoms, amid the dwindled distribution of government-provided condoms, the BBC Swahili’s Gilian Kikowe says.

Some guest houses in the commercial capital and tourism hub, Dar es Salaam, are no longer giving out the contraceptives free of charge.

“Some shops are selling condoms for 3,000 Tanzanian shillings ($1; £0.78), 5,000 or 10,000 Tanzanian shillings – depending on the brand. Customers must now have their own condoms because we can’t afford to give them out for free,” a hotel worker told BBC Swahili.

Assistant Health Minister Dr Faustine Ndugulile says the condoms are now available.

“We’ve ordered over 30 million condoms. What changed was the distribution model; previously there were some agencies distributing the condoms but things have changed and we now have new agencies mandated with distribution.

“What we want to do is ensure the new model works effectively and that awareness campaigns reach those targeted and condoms become available,” he said.

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