Chinese ‘Be Safe’ condoms found unsafe in Ghana

Accra (Ghana), April 23 (IANS) China has again hit the news in Ghana for all the wrong reasons. The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has uncovered a large quantity of poor quality and substandard condoms that were imported from a Chinese company.

The “Be Safe” condoms were imported from the Henan Xibei Latex Company Limited. So far, about 110 million condoms have been seized.

Last month, a number of Chinese nationals were arrested and deported for engaging in illegal mining. Recently, another Chinese was arrested by police in Ashaiman near Accra for alleged armed robbery.

The condoms that were seized were counterfeit as the FDA said there have always been good quality “Be Safe” condoms on the market. The FDA cautioned the public against the use of the fake condoms.

The watchdog said in a statement that its investigation revealed that the Chinese company behind the fakes has as its manufacturing address as No.300, Zuocheng Industrial Zone, Yanjin, Xinxiang City, Henan province.

The FDA has also linked an Indian company based in Kenya, Harley’s Limited, as the source of the substandard condoms.

It said the company’s local agent, Global Unilink Limited, is helping it investigate how the condoms found their way to the country undetected.

The “Be Safe” condoms failed tests at the FDA’s Medical Devices Laboratories as they did not “meet quality standards and were found to have holes and burst easily under pressure and could easily break during sex”, a statement said.

“Users were at risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases including HIV and AIDS and unwanted pregnancies,” it said.

The statement added that the condoms were also of “smaller-than-normal size and not adequately lubricated”.

An investigation is in progress to unravel how the condoms, with packaging that had no manufacturer’s name and address but only an inscription – “Manufactured in P.R.C.” – could have found its way to Ghana.

The FDA has strict regulations on the import of drugs and medical products. Two harbours at Tema near Accra and Takoradi in the western region and the Kotoka International Airport are the only points where import of such products are allowed.

The FDA appealed to pharmacies with stocks of the affected condoms to hand them over to the nearest FDA office for safe disposal.

(Francis Kokutse can be contacted at [email protected])

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