The Gauteng Health Department is failing dismally to distribute condoms to prevent HIV/Aids infection as only 91 million out of the target of 165 million male condoms were distributed, and only 2.7 million out of the target of 4.1 million female condoms.
This is revealed in the Department’s Third Quarterly Report which covers the period October to December 2019 and was recently released in the Gauteng Legislature.
According to the report, there were stock shortages for the male condoms, and only one supplier delivered in the first week of December 2019.
The reason given for missing the target for female condoms is that “Uptake of female condoms is still low. More work to be done to promote and market the condom.”
The upshot is that 74 million male condoms and 1.4 million female condoms that should have been distributed weren’t, which is very problematic as about 50 000 people still get HIV-infected in Gauteng every year.
The Department also missed its target for medical male circumcisions – only 5346 circumcisions were performed instead of the quarterly target of 13 664 circumcisions. A shortage of service providers for voluntary medical male circumcision is blamed.
I am disappointed that the Department gives poor excuses for the failure to distribute enough condoms which are an essential tool in the prevention of new HIV infections.