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Page last updated at 16:50 GMT, Friday, 11 September 2009 17:50 UK

Kenya bans 'leaky' condom brand

Lab technician testing condoms
Officials ordered lab tests on all imported condoms after a TV expose

Kenya has banned a brand of condoms weeks after Zambia did the same after tests concluded that they leak.

The condom brand known as Hot, which is manufactured in the UK, featured in a Kenyan TV report where its strength was tested - and found wanting.

Officials announced the ban after their tests also revealed weaknesses.

The government, which gives out 160 million condoms each year, feared that stories about leaky condoms could damage its fight against HIV.

The BBC's Ruth Nesoba, in Nairobi, says there is a clear sense of anger among members of the public.

Almost 7% of the adult population are said to be living with HIV.

Prevention hampered

Nicholas Muraguri, head of the country's HIV/Aids control programme, says he will be conducting a study to see how the issue has affected people's confidence in condoms.

We are quite positive that we have caught up with a lot of the products
John Wepukhulu
Kenya Bureau of Standards

"Those people who are using this particular brand of condoms are going to be very worried," he said.

Officials are attempting to reassure the public, saying that 95% of the condoms on sale meet standards set by the UN.

John Wepukhulu, who is in charge of quality at the Kenya Bureau of Standards, said the banned condoms were just one brand out of many on the market.

"We are quite positive that we have caught up with a lot of the products," he said.

Huge quantities of condoms are imported into Africa as part of Aids prevention campaigns.

But our correspondent says that several brands have been found to be faulty over the years, hampering prevention efforts and highlighting the need for better quality control.



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