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Wednesday, 11 July, 2001, 21:05 GMT 22:05 UK
Kenyan condom imports to rise
Milions of imported condoms
Millions of condoms are on their way to Kenyans
The Kenyan Government has unveiled plans to import 300 million condoms as part of a campaign to control the rapid increase in the number of people dying of Aids-related illnesses.

Official figures suggest the number of deaths has increased from 500 to 700 per day over the past five years.

The plan means each sexually active Kenyan will receive an average of 60 condoms every year. It is not clear what the cost to the government will be.


The best cure is to abstain for two years.

President Daniel Arap Moi
According to official figures, Kenya has more than 2.5 million people infected with HIV, the virus that causes Aids, and 250,000 with full-blown Aids.

Many children have lost their parents to the disease, creating a growing problem for the authorities.

President Daniel Arap Moi said he regretted that the country had to spend millions of shillings to import condoms instead of using trhe money to raise living standards in Kenya.

He urged Kenyans to abstain from sex for two years, calling this "the best cure".

Accessible

The plan to import the condoms will be part of the government's strategy to fight the disease and was disclosed by the country's head of the Aids Control Unit, Dr Kenneth Chebet.

He said the Ministry of Health intends to ensure the condoms are accessible to Kenyans throughout the country.

Aids orphans
Kenya hosts an increasing number of Aids orphans
Church leaders have criticised the plans, saying free distribution of condoms would lull people into a false sense of security.

They say it is better to campaign against extra-marital sex, or to encourage people to stick to one partner only.

Opposition politician Steven Ndichu has also attacked the proposal, saying it will promote immorality.

He also says the government ought to be calling for abstention.

A factory was expected to have started the production of condoms in Kenya nearly a year ago.

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See also:

26 Nov 99 | Africa
Moi: Aids a 'national disaster'
01 Jan 00 | Africa
East Africa declares war on Aids
01 Dec 99 | Africa
HIV warning for Nigeria
01 Dec 99 | Africa
Aids in Kenya: A social disease
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