Thai company steps up to ease condom shortage
A shortage of condoms is one thing. A shortage of condoms while people around the world are stuck at home is another. Since a top condom manufacturer in Malaysia halted production due to the coronavirus pandemic, a Thai company is now stepping up to fill the gap.
Thai Nippon Rubber Industry, the country’s biggest condom manufacturer, is increasing production by 27%, according to Nation Thailand. They make the brands ‘Playboy’ and ‘One Touch’ condoms. They plan to sell 1.9 billion condoms this year. Hopefully that’s enough to keep everyone, well, happy.
Authorities feared that a shortage of condoms could lead to more potential more serious issues like unwanted pregnancies and the spread of sexual diseases.
Last month, the UN Population fund said they could only get half of its usual condom supplies. They say the poorest and most vulnerable would be hit hardest, adding that there could be an increase in unsafe abortions.
“A shortage of condoms, or any contraceptive, could lead to an increase in unintended pregnancies, with potentially devastating health and social consequences for adolescent girls, women and their partners and families,” a spokesperson told the Bangkok Post.
Most of the Thai Nippon’s orders are exported and the demand for condoms in China has risen, Department of International Trade Promotion Somdet Susomboon says.
Last year, China imported condoms valued at $50.7 million and $443 million in rubber latex for condom production, Susomboon says he expects the value of the condom market this year to go up by 18%.
Last month, in a television appearance, Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, asked citizens to stay at home. He then called on his compatriots to “take advantage of the enforced intimacy to boost the country’s shrinking population: by making babies”.