Risk of a New “Disastrous” Shortage of Condoms

The United Nations agency for sexual and reproductive health (UNFPA) has raised the alarm, warning that it could receive only 50 to 60% of its regular condom orders, due to disturbances caused by the virus.

Malaysian giant Karex, which manufactures one in five condoms worldwide, has been hit hard by the restrictions and expects a production reduction of 200 million condoms. The United Nations raised the alarm.

As an unexpected consequence of the new coronavirus, a worldwide shortage of condoms is emerging due to the paralysis of several factories and distribution circuits, a situation that could prove “disastrous” according to the UN.

In Malaysia, one of the largest producers of condoms, its raw material, a strict confinement is in force since March 18 after an increase in cases of covid-19.

Malaysian giant Karex, which manufactures one in five condoms worldwide, has been hit hard by the restrictions and expects its production of 200 million condoms to decrease from its normal level between mid-March and mid-April.

Like other manufacturers in the world, the company faces similar difficulties in manufacturing and supplying condoms, says Karex CEO Goh Miah Kiat.

Karex, which supplies contraceptives to various companies and governments as well as humanitarian programs, has decided to temporarily close its three Malaysian factories at the beginning of the strict confinement imposed on the country.

The group has then been authorized to resume production, but only with 50% of its usual workforce at the moment.

UN warns of disastrous condom shortage due to coronavirus

“Border closures and other restriction measures disturb transport in various countries and regions,” said a spokesman for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which collaborates with family planning programs, and had to resort to new emergency suppliers.

“A shortage of condoms, or any other contraceptive, could lead to an increase in unwanted pregnancies with disastrous consequences for the health and well-being of adolescents, women, their partners and their families,” stressed the spokesperson.

While the shutdown of factories and the closing of borders affects the supply of condoms, the demand has increased instead.

Since confinement, Karex has seen his orders increase, according to Goh. According to the Indian press, sales of condoms have shot up 30% in the week following the announcement of the confinement in this country of 1.3 billion inhabitants.

 

 

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The United Nations Agency Warned : Risk of a New "Disastrous" Shortage of Condoms

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