Leading condom manufacturers HLL Lifecare Ltd, with its headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram, will export 1.3 million female condoms to African countries Gambia and Burkina Faso and Dominican Republic in the Caribbean.
A company statement released on Wednesday said that this new order is part of supporting a global initiative to tackle the spread of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the three countries.
HLL's female condom is a signature product of the company and is given out as part of the Global Fund projects of Amsterdam-headquartered IDA Foundation, the world's leading not-for-profit supplier of essential, quality assured medicines and medical supplies to developing countries.
The natural latex-based female condom of HLL has been indigenously developed and is produced at its factory in Kochi which has a capacity to produce 25 million pieces per year.
"These are the first overseas orders we received after obtaining the WHO pre-qualification for the female condoms in March this year. In the coming months, we expect to receive more orders," said R.P. Khandelwal, CMD of HLL.
HLL is one of the pre-qualified suppliers of IDA for the female condoms, and it received these orders upon winning the tenders floated by IDA for their Global Fund supplies.
IDA Foundation acts as procurement service agent for Global Fund grant recipients which select products through the pooled procurement mechanism.
HLL's female condom which has a shelf life of five years has product certifications of the European Union (EU) and South Africa.
The product was launched by Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda in April this year.
"It has the potential to become a game-changer for women through control over their reproductive freedom. It will also go a long way in meeting the unmet contraceptive needs and thus check the burgeoning population of the country," Nadda was quoted as saying.