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Chinese condoms found faulty

(Shanghai Daily)

09:58, April 25, 2013

A Chinese manufacturer has sent a team to Ghana to investigate reports of millions of faulty condoms sent to the African country.

Seven batches of "Be Safe" condoms from the Henan Xibei Latex Co Ltd in Henan Province were found to be substandard, the Ghana news agency reported.

They were riddled with holes and prone to breaking while being smaller than normal and not adequately lubricated, the country's food and drug administration was quoted as saying.

Users were, therefore, at risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS and having unwanted pregnancies.

"This is a huge, huge problem," Faustina Fynn-Nyame, director of Marie Stopes International in Ghana, told the UK's Guardian newspaper. "There will be a lot of unintended pregnancies as a result of this, and that means maternal mortality and unsafe abortion."

Previous batches of "Be Safe" condoms were always of good quality, according to media reports.

Officials in Ghana said the faulty consignment was imported by Global Unilink Ltd, a Ghanaian company which had sourced them from an Indian company based in Kenya, Harley's Ltd.

The condoms were traced back to Xibei though the packaging on the consignment had no manufacturer's name and address but only an inscription - Manufactured in P.R.C.

Officials in Ghana said they had issued a safety alert and seized about 110 million condoms which were distributed free as part of an HIV/AIDS prevention campaign by the Ghana Health Service.

According to a BBC report, they are also recalling all "Be Safe" condoms.

In a statement, Xibei said it had just exported 25 million condoms to Ghana via a Kenya middleman and all its products had been tested as safe and qualified before being exported.

The company hadn't received any complaints about quality from the buyer.

Three of its officials have flown to Ghana to investigate the current claims, it said.

Meanwhile, the Henan food and drug authority has ordered the company to suspend sales of condoms while official tests are carried out.

Founded in 2003, Xibei produces an average of 300 million condoms a year, mainly for Ghana, Vietnam, Kenya, Bangladesh and other countries.

It has been providing condoms to Ghana's health service since 2009, according to reports.

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