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By Itumeleng Mafisa

Digital Journalist

‘Roll out condoms’ – TAC calls on govt to step in as STIs hit Gauteng

Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) says there is problem with procurement of condoms by the Gauteng Health Department.

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) has blamed the Gauteng Department of Health and Wellness for the increase in sexually transmitted infections in the province.

Condom supply at the heart of infections

In an interview with The Citizen, TAC Gauteng chairperson Monwabisi Mbasa said the TAC had been in constant discussions with the provincial government about the shortage of condoms in health facilities across the province.

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“We are calling for the department to roll out external condoms, female condoms and vaginal rings so that they can be accessible,” Mbasa said.

According to Mbasa, there has been an ongoing problem with the procurement of condoms by the department.

“Government has been failing to procure condoms. All the time we are told about excuses that they were about to appoint a service provider and unfortunately they could not comply,” Mbasa said.

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He said the TAC was now putting plans to revive an aggressive campaign which would make people aware of the dangers of HIV-Aids and other STIs.

“We will continue to monitor the progress of short-listing service providers for condoms. The other company that had been appointed said their condoms had not passed the South African Bureau of Standards tests,” he said.

Mbasa said it was common for government to appoint a new service provider when the condoms were running out. He said this was not acceptable.

“They have to appoint a new service provider when they see that the old contract is coming to an end,” he said.

Mbasa said they were told that the problem would be solved on Valentine’s Day. But he said this was also unacceptable because there should never be shortage of condoms.

“They should always be available because people are not only having sex on Valentine’s Day,” he said.

Concern about men

Mbasa emphasised on the importance of running regular check-ups and testing for men.

“There has to be a focus on men, especially those in poor communities because there is a lot of stigma on them going to the clinic and they are not as proactive compared to women,” he said.

The Citizen has contacted the Gauteng Department of Health and Wellness for comment. This article will be updated as soon as it is received.

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