Shortage of tampons in Nairobi retail shops


There has been a shortage of tampons in several outlets, including supermarkets in Nairobi where most women get the product.

A tampon is a hygiene product designed to absorb the menstrual flow by insertion into the vagina.

An attendant at a Nairobi supermarket said they have had a shortage since October last year.

“The issue has been ongoing, especially with the OB and Kotex tampons,” the attendant told the Star on Thursday. The attendant said, however, that Kotex are back. “The company has rebranded its commodities,” the attendant, who sought anonymity, said.

The maker of Kotex tampons voluntarily recalled several sets of its product because of a defect that caused them to unravel upon removal, leaving pieces inside consumers’ bodies, the company, Kimberly-Clark, said in a statement.


The American multinational personal care corporation produces mostly paper-based consumer products. The statement indicated the defect had caused an unknown number of consumers to seek medical attention to remove pieces left inside their bodies. It said there has also been a “small number” of reports of infections, vaginal irritation and injury.

The recall was limited to specific lots of U by Kotex Sleek Tampons, regular absorbency, which were manufactured between October 7, 2016, and October 16 last year. They were distributed between October 17, 2016, and October 23 last year.

A vocal feminist Scheaffer Okore last week sparked an online debate. Many women commented on the shortage and hiked priced of the tampons.

A Tuskys Supermarket attendant said, “Most women who use tampons prefer a particular brand and when they come and miss what they want, they just walk away.”

Nakumatt Prestige along Ngong Road said the commodity was out of stock.

“I went to chemists to look for tampons but could not find any. Luckily, my friend brought me some,” a loyal user said.