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  COVID-19 crisis creates uptick in condom sales  

  COVID-19 crisis creates uptick in condom sales  

In light of businesses shutting down and people staying at home, amid the pandemic, the economic and social sectors of Ethiopia are enduring a heavy cost. However, the pandemic has offered an uptick in the condom market with a surge in the consumption level in Addis Ababa, a report shows.

According to a latest report The Reporter has obtained from DKT-Ethiopia Social Marketing, the consumption level of a condom over the first three months since the first case of was reported in Addis Ababa, has increased by almost 100 percent, compared to the same period in the previous year.

Last year, DKT supplied 2.3 million pieces of condoms between April and June. Now, this figure has surged to 5.2 million pieces of condoms this year.

The figures that were registered both in the current and previous years quarterly, reveals only the product distributed to ordinary customer from DKT alone. For instance, the previous year’s three month distribution amounted to a total of 7.4 million condoms delivered by DKT. However, out of the stated total number, over 4 million condoms went to the Defense Ministry.

But this year’s three month condom delivery, as of April 1st to June 30, registered a higher number than the previous year’s similar period, by almost 3 million more condoms

However, the stated surge in condom consumption represents only the product distributed by DKT only.

Meanwhile, raw reports The Reporter has obtained, yet to be verified by Federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office (HaPCO), the total sum of condom distributed in Addis Ababa during the consecutive three quarters of the recently concluded year, is around 9.8 million of condom, while the 4th quarter distribution size accounts to around 7.6 million pieces of condoms.

However, official data obtained from HAPCO indicates that, in the previous year, a total of 27,593,846 condoms have been consumed in Addis Ababa alone.

However, the consumption level in Addis Ababa delivered by DKT alone, has registered a higher consumption level than expected in the past three months alone, due to the pandemic forcing people to spend more time together.

DKT and other Social organizations such as PSI-Ethiopia, HF, have been the main suppliers of condom in Ethiopia over the past few years. The Ministry of Health, on its part delivers the products through its HIV/Aids fighting initiatives.

According to available information, DKT Ethiopia is the leading provider of condoms and contraceptives in Ethiopia, supplying 75 percent of condoms and 40 percent of oral contraceptives in Ethiopia from 2005–2010.

As a main supplier, DKT distributes the products through its shop centers and pharmacies in all of the ten sub cities. Similarly, the company maintains several offices and warehouses in all regions states across the country, while it also has a fleet of distribution vehicles and a trained sales and support staff.

As noted in the company’s website, DKT Ethiopia has received funds from the Netherlands, England, Ireland, the World Health Organization, the Gates Foundation, and other sources to help it deliver subsidized products.

Such unprecedented surge in condom consumption has been reported worldwide beginning in the early days and following months of the pandemic. Even major condom manufacturers struggled to meet the unexpected rise in demand.

Within each product category, DKT Ethiopia distributes one or more brands. For example, in the case of condoms, DKT Ethiopia distributes Hiwot Trust, Sensation, and Members Only condoms. Each brand has at least one product variant and is priced incrementally to attract unique market segments.

It is to be recalled that in March this year, a global condom shortage was looming as the coronavirus pandemic disrupted factory production and supply chains, the world's top maker of the contraceptives said, with the United Nations warning of "devastating" consequences.