Brazilian Health Ministry Will Not Meet Goal of Distributing 1B Condoms Nationwide as Part of HIV/AIDS Prevention Campaign, Official Says
The Brazilian Ministry of Health does not have the capacity to reach its goal of distributing one billion condoms annually as part of a campaign to fight the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in the country, Mariangela Simao, coordinator of the National Program to Combat HIV/AIDS, said in a statement on Wednesday, DPA/Monsters and Critics reports (DPA/Monsters and Critics, 1/10). According to Simao, the government in October 2005 sought funding from the World Bank for the purchase of one billion condoms, but that funding was not approved until October 2006. Simao also said that the government does not "have the conditions to review the quality of such a large number of condoms," adding that federal agencies are able to inspect 60 to 80 million condoms monthly, EFE News Service reports. In addition, Simao said that there are some internal problems with the campaign, including delays in deliveries of condoms and failures of companies contracted to provide the condoms to pass quality control tests. According to Simao, the health ministry hopes to distribute 500 million condoms this year, up from 251 million in 2005 and 253.7 million in 2006. As a result of the campaign's setbacks, the government has not announced its plan for distributing condoms during Carnival, the country's annual festival, which begins on Feb. 17. The health ministry distributed 20 million condoms during the 2006 Carnival -- almost twice as many as 2005 -- and carried out a widespread HIV/AIDS awareness campaign, EFE News reports (EFE News Service, 1/10).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.