News and Facts about Cuba

Shortage of Condoms

Shortage of Condoms / 14ymedio, Rosa Lopez
Posted on February 14, 2015

14ymedio, ROSA LOPEZ, Pinar del Rio, 12 February 2015 – People in Pinar
del Rio didn’t have to wait to read about it in the newspaper Granma.
For weeks the popular voice says it, louder and louder. “There are no
condoms,” started to be heard like a whisper on the corners. “There are
no condoms,” said the couples on hearing it and the teens warned their
parents before they went out on Saturday night. “There are no condoms,”
howl the pharmacy clerks when their customers dare to ask. The uproar
was such that finally this Wednesday the official organ of Communist
Party issued a formal answer.

Those who still have a sense of humor, after a month long shortage of
contraceptives in the country’s westernmost province, suggest that
perhaps it’s a government strategy to increase the birth rate. We will
have to see the birth statistics between September and October of this
year, although it could be that the number of abortions will also shoot
up in the coming weeks.

Before every shortage, some specialist always suggests a workaround.
That’s what happened with the article published by the official
newspaper, which says that the Program of Prevention and Control of STDs
and proposes that, given the scarcity of the product, “people find
alternatives, for example, limiting the sexual act to kissing, caresses
and masturbation…” Tell that to a customer burning with passion whose
store of condoms ran out at the end of last year!

What the note in Granma doesn’t say is that contraceptives aren’t the
only thing missing from pharmacies. A brief tour this morning of places
where medications are sold in the city of Pinar del Rio demonstrated
that other products have also been disappearing for weeks. Both in the
pharmacy on the central corner or Marti Street at Recreo, as well as the
one known as Camancho or the one located on the ground floor of the 12
story building on Maceo street, have empty shelves and drawers.

The shortages include drugs such as Meprobamate, anti-flu medications,
Dipyrone, Azithromycin, Prednisolone and Clotrimazole. What do the
public authorities propose in the face of such shortages? Looking
for alternatives like with condoms? Will they then engage in the fantasy
to anticipate what the patients should do in the face of such shortages.

Source: Shortage of Condoms / 14ymedio, Rosa Lopez | Translating Cuba –

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