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Zimbabwe Health Minister Complains Chinese Condoms are 'too small' for African Men

Updated on March 4, 2018

Condoms for African Men

Zimbabwe is part of South East Africa and as per the WHO has the highest incidence of AIDS. One of the reasons for this epidemic is unprotected sex and hence there is an urgent need for contraceptives. The cheapest and most effective method of contraception is a condom.

China has entered the world of condom manufacturer and the Chinese have flooded the markets with their brand of condoms. Chinese condoms are exported to Zimbabwe to help in methods to control the spread of AIDS. The Chinese condoms have however been found wanting. has quoted the Zimbabwe health minister, David Parirenyatwa stating at a function in Harare that the condoms manufactured in China were “too small” for African men.

There is some truth in this as on an average an African Negro is bigger in size than a Chinese man. This is basically a race problem and when the condoms were exported the Chinese did not think about it.

The same complaint has also been made by the South African health minister.

Contraceptives for Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe does not manufacture condoms and all the products are imported. Most of the purchase of condoms is funded by the WHO. The health minister has called on local entrepreneurs to manufacture condoms of a larger size to obviate the complaints of African men.

The incident at the function, which was to launch an AID awareness campaign has been taken note of by China. As a follow-up, Chinese Chief Executive Zhao Chuan, of Beijing Daxiang and His Friends Technology Co, a condom manufacturer, has told the South China Morning Post that his company will be manufacturing condoms of different sizes. Condoms are the preferred form of contraception all over the world and have a success rate close to 85%. Zhao also mentioned that a survey would be conducted and manufacture of condoms would be tailored accordingly.

The need for condoms in Zimbabwe is urgent as UN AIDS has estimated that the incidence of the disease is on the increase and almost 13.5% of the population may be infected. In addition, there are 40,000 fresh cases detected every year. The condom is, in fact, the only defense against the spread of the disease.One of the reasons for the high incidence of the disease in this part of Africa is unprotected intercourse.

Another problem is the tribal culture that sanctions multiple partners and a degree of promiscuity. This cannot be changed but condoms which are an essential part of this campaign against AIDS will have to be made of a proper size.

China's ambition

China is making deep inroads in Africa as it has deep pockets and wants to spread its influence. The Chinese have brought many projects to Africa and they have also set up their first overseas military base in Djibouti in the horn of Africa. China has a clear-cut policy to displace the USA as a global power and in pursuance of this policy, it caters to many demands of the African nations. Supplying condoms is one of them.The Chinese are a versatile people and one can be sure that fresh brand of condoms of larger size will soon be marketed in Zimbabwe.


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