WHILE condoms are believed to be the most widely used gear for the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS, counterfeit brands have penetrated the local market with the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) impounding 330 boxes.
TBS established in a prompt inspection in various parts of Dar es Salaam that the 138,815 million US Dollars (about 220m/-) condoms branded 'Melt Me' from India are already on the market. During the inspection one pharmacy at Manzese was found selling the substandard condoms.
They were also on sell at the Mabibo Hostel in Kinondoni District where some people admitted to have been using the brand for sometime now. According to TBS, the consignment arrived in the country in August this year. Destination Inspection (DI) for the said load was conducted at the Dar es Salaam Port and samples taken to TBS Laboratories for testing as importation procedures require.
Speaking to reporters, TBS Acting Director General Leandri Kinabo, said the condoms consisting of four different lots failed the lab tests and that procedures were underway to re-export the haul to the country of origin. He said TBS inspectors established during the market surveillance which was conducted shortly after the seizure of the consignment, that there were other four different substandard lots of 'Melt Me' condoms already supplied in the market.
He alerted the general public not to use 'Melt Me' condoms since they are sub standard thus can't serve the intended purpose of protecting users against sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS. Mr Kinabo said TBS was working with the police to establish how such consignments reached the market and those found selling them would be taken to task.
He urged the public to only use four certified condoms -- Salama Condoms, Salama bomba Condoms, Dume Condom and Blue Denin Condoms. TBS Acting Director of Quality Management, Mr Lazaro Msasalaga, told the 'Daily News on Saturday' that the 'Melt Me' condoms failed lab water test, package seal and air inflation.
"Dealers and suppliers are to make sure they sell products certified by TBS short of that not only they sabotage the country's economy, but they also endanger the lives of their customers," he stressed.