Posted on Sunday, 04.20.14
Cuba moves to end condom shortage by selling stock with 'wrong
BY JUAN O. TAMAYO
Hoping to resolve a shortage of condoms that has sparked complaints
around Cuba, the island's public health system has approved the sale of
more than one million prophylactics with apparently expired dates.
Pharmacy sales personnel must explain to the buyers that the condoms are
good and simply have the wrong expiration dates, said a report Saturday
in Vanguardia, the newspaper of the Communist Party in the central
province of Villa Clara.
A Vanguardia report April 3 on the shortage said that the government
agency in charge of certifying medical items in 2012 had noticed
erroneous expiration dates on the "Moments" prophylactics imported from
The agency ordered the condoms be repackaged with the correct dates, the
newspaper added. But the state-run enterprise repackaging the more than
one million condoms in stock does not have enough workers to process the
5,000 condoms a day required just in Villa Clara province.
Vanguardia did not publish the "wrong" dates, but its report hinted that
they showed the prophylactics had expired or would soon expire. The
shelf life of condoms is very long, it said.
"Although the lots are in optimal conditions, under the certificate of
the Center for the State Control of Medicines and Medical Equipment the
condoms could not be sold without the new expiration date, December of
2014," Vanguardia reported Saturday.
"Due to the irregularities in the repackaging, which has provoked
prolonged absences of the prophylactics throughout the country, the
Public Health Ministry authorized the sale of the 'Moments' condoms in
their current packages," on April 4, the newspaper said.
Several Cuban bloggers commented acridly on the shortage long after
April 4, with some noting that it could lead to the spread of sexually
transmitted diseases as well as unwanted pregnancies and abortions. The
story was picked up in el Nuevo Herald and The Guardian in London.
The Cuban government, meanwhile, also published a list of companies
around the world that are authorized to ship packages to the island, a
business hit routinely with complaints of lost packages, high prices and
The list "will allow those who send these types of shipments from abroad
to confirm that the agency they plan to use is among those authorized to
carry out those operations with Cuba," said a report in the
government-controlled Cubadebate website.
The U.S. companies listed: Wilson Intl.; Service Inc.; Machi Community
Services; Va Cuba; Caribe Express; Vía Cuba; Flor Caribe Inc.; Caribbean
Family and Travel Services Inc.; Aztec Worldwide Airlines Inc.;
Procurements Systems Inc.; Crowley Logistics Inc.; Frontline Cargo
Logistic; International Port Corp; Ez Shipping LLC; Centrotrading LLC;
and V.I.P INTL INC.
The list, compiled by Cuba's customs agency, also included Cugranca, a
Spanish firm approved to provide delivery and currency exchange services
for people in the United States.
Source: Cuba moves to end condom shortage by selling stock with 'wrong
expiration dates' - Cuba - MiamiHerald.com -