By Our Reporter
The Ministry of Health in partnership with Marie Stopes UG has announced the return of the New, Improved and National Drug Authority -certified Life Guard condoms to address the nationwide shortage of the socially marketed brands.
Dr Charles Olaro, the Director in charge of Curative Services and the Focal Point for Family Planning at Ministry of Health says that the new Life Guard condoms are manufactured by Thai Nippon Rubber industries (TNR), a UNFPA prequalified condom manufacturer and meet the highest international safety standards, complying with ISO 4074, ASTM, and WHO requirements.
“They are electronically tested for safety and reliability, biocompatibility according ISO 10993 and are subjected to periodic nitrosamine and protein testing. All condom batches are also subjected to electrolyte water testing for leakage and are tested for burst strength and elasticity using of air inflation testing equipment. Having been certified by the National Drug Authority, we are confident that Lifeguard has met strict quality control measures and is safe for use by Ugandans,” Dr. Charles Olaro explained.
The estimated annual condom need for socially marketed and commercial condoms in Uganda is 20 million condoms. Lifeguard contributes about 43% of this market.
Dr Olaro reiterates that the withdrawal of Life Guard condoms last year left a huge gap that could potentially undermine Ministry of Health’s efforts to curb the spread of HIV, in line with the Presidential Fast-track Initiative on ending HIV and AIDS in Uganda by 2030.
Dr. Carole Sekimpi, the Country Director of Marie Stopes Uganda said, “Condoms play a vital role in preventing unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. We are committed to providing products of the highest quality. We have strict quality controls in place and have a World Health Organization pre-qualified laboratory as our quality assurance/quality control partner to ensure that this product meets the strictest national and international standards.”
The new Lifeguard condoms are available in pharmacies, health facilities,
supermarkets, and shops countrywide.