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14.10.2004 General News

Ghanaians might have used unwholesome condoms

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Accra, Oct 14, GNA - A baseline study test conducted by the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) on 25 brands of condoms on the Ghanaian market, showed that 24 per cent of them either had holes in them or were in poor conditions due to poor storage, and thus failed to conform to the International Standard Order (ISO).

The Reverend Jonathan Y. Martey, Head, FDB Quality Control Laboratory, said the safety of condoms must not be compromised in the face of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections and the need to be vigilant on the importation of sub-standard medicals devices must be tackled with all urgency.

"It is for these reasons that the FDB has secured an ultra modern quality testing laboratory to ensure that all brands of condoms are sampled and tested to conform with the ISO 4074, before they are released unto the Ghanaian market."

Rev Martey said this at a day's seminar for importers and distributors on condom quality and testing on Thursday.

He said the facility, valued at about 200,000 dollars would now enable the FDB to conduct authentic testing on a collection of condoms and ensure that those that did not meet the requirements were recalled out of the market or were not allowed into the country.

He stated that since heat and humidity contributed to the deterioration of condoms it was advisable for importers to ensure that condoms that were stored for over six months in warehouse received re-certification before sale.

He stated that for registration purposes, a minimum of 1,500 pieces of condoms were required for the test to ensure the right length, width and thickness, busting volume and pressure, package integrity, freedom from holes, packaging and labelling.

Rev Martey stated that the procedures would ensure health security and would prevent manufacturers form using Ghana as the dumping grounds for sub-standard goods.

"Currently, clearing points for condoms have been limited to the Tema Harbour and the Kotoka International Airport, therefore, any consignment that came through an unapproved route would be intercepted till they were certified," he said.

Rev Martey appealed to the public to support the Board to ensure condom safety to prevent STI, HIV/AIDS and effective contraception. He also advised importers to consider any recall exercise as better business practice rather than sabotage adding that they should adopt practices that conformed to ISO standards.

He said the facility being the only one in the West African Sub-Region, had received commendation and support from neighbouring countries.

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