NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 11 – Kenya on Friday has banned the “Hot” brand of condom after it failed quality standards.
Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) Quality Assurance Chief Manager John Wepukhulu said the brand was 100 percent ineffective and leaked when in use.
“I have informed all our regional offices and they are on the ground to assess the distribution of this product so that they are all withdrawn,” said Mr Wepukhulu.
KEBS carried out a fresh inspection on the product after concerns were raised in the media and the condom was also condemned in Zambia.
Following the new findings, retail outlets were also instructed to remove the product from the shelves.
Mr Wepukhulu however defended the organisation against claims of failure in ensuring quality checks were carried out.
“KEBS did not fail, each consignment coming into the country is thoroughly checked and this problem could have been as a result of the handling and storage,” he said adding that it could be only this shipment that had a problem but not the whole brand.
Mr Wepukhulu said it was the requirement of the law that if anyone imported substandard products and it was proven to be as such, the importer meets the cost of reshipment.
“Even now that we have asked the distributor to recall the product, it is at their cost. Whatever is going to be removed from the shelves is still at his cost,” he said.
He said within one week, the products should have been removed from the shelves and either disposed or shipped back to the country of origin.
National Aids and STI Control Programme (NASCOP) Head Dr Nicholas Muraguri allayed fears that the substandard condom could have caused an increase in HIV infections and unplanned pregnancies.
“The hot brand is not very popular. People know about Trust condom and others which are distributed by government so I don’t think it has a significant impact on HIV or pregnancy,” Dr Muraguri said.
“But this condom is used all over the world and it is more popular in Europe among the young people because of the tingling sensation and the different flavours it has,” he added.
The Hot brand of condoms is among seven other brands manufactured by the Contempo range in the United Kingdom.
The other brands include Rough Rider, Wet N Wild, Bareback, Power play, Midnight, Endurance and King Size.
However, the Bureau of standards was yet to ascertain the quantity of the Hot brand in the Kenyan market.
KEBS directed that from now on any brand of condom sold in Kenya was required to have a KEBS standardisation mark of quality.