China’s condoms ‘too small’
IT's an uncomfortable issue.
How does one bring it up?
Zimbabwe's Health Minister David Parirenyatwa chose to get straight to the point.
"We import condoms from China and some men complain they are too small," he told a recent HIV/Aids conference.
Comfort is crucial.
And a good fit means they'd be employed more often.
"Youths now have a particular condom that they like, but we don't manufacture them," New Zimbabwe.com reports Parirenyatwa as saying.
It's a pressing issue.
He told the gathering that Zimbabwe should turn its own hand to the problem.
It should manufacture its own made-to-measure designs.
But China's lust for new market opportunities has come to the fore.
Beijing Daxiang and His Friends Technology Co chief executive Zhao Chuan has told the South China Morning Post his firm was now planning to produce a greater variety of sizes.
"We have started to do some surveys on users' data in the region to make preparations for future products," he reportedly said.
"As to the different demands from customers such as in Zimbabwe, Daxiang, as a Chinese manufacturer, has the ability and the obligation to make a contribution."
Zhao went on to say different parts of the words had different requirements.
Chinese men preferred thinner condoms, he said. North Americans preferred them to be soft.
But behind the wry smiles is a matter of life and death.
Zimbabwe has one of the world's worst instances of HIV/Aids. More than 13 per cent of its adult population is believed to have the virus.
"The southern African region has the highest incidence of HIV and we are promoting the use of condoms," Parirenyatwa said.