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Health News of Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Source: TV3 News

'Taxes on condoms will be a public health disaster'

A former Director General of the Ministry of Health has advised government to take a holistic look at its decision to add condoms to items on which special levies will be charged, in considering the Special Import Levy Bill.

Speaking on TV3’s morning news programme on Wednesday, Dr Elias Sory was categorical in saying that taxing condoms will be “a public health disaster”.

He said the condoms were invented to prevent diseases, first and foremost. “When you look at how much it will cost to fight diseases and the temporary money that [the taxes] will bring into the country,” he told TV3’s Wendy Laryea, “I plead with the president to [rescind the decision].

“We have to relook at it as against the successes that we have chalked over the years,” he stressed, outlining that HIV/AIDS, for instance, dropped “from very high values” of 24 per cent to single values due to the use of condoms.

“This is a commodity many people are getting used to,” he said of condoms. “This one coming at this time, I think it is wrongly placed,” he noted.

Government's decision to introduce taxes on condoms has raised eye brows and stirred public discourse with many calling for the shelving of the idea.

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