At the end of last year, the National Drug Authority recalled at least 70 percent of over one million batches of Life Guard condoms from batches 19040205 and 19050105 which were already on the market but were defective.
In the latest suit, Enforcement of Patients and Health Workers Rights(EPHWOR) says condoms are subject to mandatory analysis before release to the market by the National Drug Authority but worried some people may have contracted HIV/AIDS, gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted infections by using the defective condoms which are on the market.
“For the one month the condoms were in public use, three Ugandans who have deponed affidavits including Joseph Kintu (contracted HIV/AIDS), Sulaiman Balinya(contracted gonorrhea) and Birungi Joyce( got pregnant) after using the defected condoms,” the NGO says.
In the suit in which Marie Stopes Uganda, National Drug Authority and Attorney General are listed as respondents, the NGO asks court to find each responsible for negligence in the matter.
“The court should declare that the respondents acted illegally and negligently in the rolling of defective Life Guard condoms to the public in violation of the right to life, health and human dignity guaranteed under objectives V, XIV, XX, Articles 22 ,8A and 24 of the Constitution,” the court documents read in part
“There should be a declaration that the second respondent(NDA)abdicated its supervisory role over regulation of the first respondent (Marie Stopes Uganda)’s activities leading to the rolling out of defective Life Guard condoms to the general public in violation of the constitution.”
The NGO also argues that government failed in its duty to effectively prevent and control HIV transmission by allowing defective condoms on the Ugandan market.
Enforcement of Patients and Health Workers Rights(EPHWOR) wants court to order government carry out an audit on the defective Life Guard condoms on the market.
“Court should compel the respondents to conduct an audit of Life Guard condoms batch numbers 19040205 and 19050105 that were illegally rolled to the public and those that were recalled in order to ascertain the extent of damage caused to users of the defective condoms,” the court documents say.
The NGO also wants government to revoke Marie Stopes Uganda’s licence in relation to importation and distribution of condoms but also direct government and National Drug Authority to revise their regulatory and supervisory mechanisms on the control and prevention of HIV/AIDS and other STDs.
“The respondents should be directed to conduct mass testing of all users of the defective Life Guard condoms batch numbers 19040205 and 19050105 and to provide treatment to all persons found to be infected as a result of using the said defective condoms.”