Alert: There Is a Condom Shortage In Cuba

If you are planning a trip to Cuba some time in the near future, you may want to B.Y.O.C.:

Juan Carlos Gonzalez, director of the state-run wholesaler Ensume, which is responsible for obtaining and supplying most of the nation’s government-subsidised condoms, told the newspaper there were more than a million condoms in the company’s warehouses and that the problem was the result of his workers being unable to meet demand.

He said Ensume had struggled to keep up with a ruling by the state’s regulatory medical agency Cecmed two years ago that the 2012 expiration date on millions of condoms imported from China was incorrect and that the packages had to be relabelled 2014.

Gonzalez said the workers could only repackage 1,440 strips of three condoms per day while the demand in Villa Clara province alone was 5,000 daily. Consequently, the price of a single condom has risen from just pennies to about $1.30, a day’s wages for a typical Cuban worker.

Obviously our first step is to look up the population of Villa Clara province on Wikipedia: 817,070. 5,000/day for 817,070 people? Not impressed, Cuba.

On a more serious note, the relevant section of pharmacy shelves across the province are emptying out, and health officials are very concerned. The state-run sex education department is working to allocate what’s left to the populations most in need, which sounds hopeful.

Also I don’t know why this is relevant but I found it interesting nonetheless:

The condom shortage, meanwhile, has also affected those who use the prophylactics for non-sexual purposes. Anglers use them to give floats a glossy sheen attractive to fish, pigeon fanciers use their rubber rims to attach notes to birds’ legs and hard-up thrill-seekers fill them with cheap rum to smuggle into nightclubs.

I want to know more. Mostly where people put the condoms full of rum. Could it be?

Photo: nataliemaynor

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