Botswana: Ministry of Health Introduces New Contraceptives

| July 28, 2016

The Ministry of Health has introduced two additional contraceptives to improve sexual and reproductive health.

Speaking during a press briefing in Gaborone July 26, the acting director of the Department of Public Health in the Ministry of Health, Ms Veronica Leburu said the newly introduced methods were contraceptive implants. They are the implanon NXT and Jadelle and the second one is the vaginal ring.

She highlighted that the idea behind the introduction of the contraceptives was to broaden the method mix and to increase the choice for the nation to continue the ministry's endeavour to make health priority.

Ms Leburu noted that Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services include various services such as family planning, infertility as well as contraception. She said it was vital for the nation to be fed with factual information concerning SRH to make the right decision.

She emphasised that family planning was important to couples as it was more than contraception. "It is a way of assisting in spacing of children, number of children desired and when to have them as well as when to stop having children," she saidDiscussing how the methods work, a health officer in the Ministry, Ms Tshegofatso Maotwe explained that the vaginal ring was a flexible ring that was placed inside the vagina to prevent pregnancy, and that it was also called Nuva ring.

She said the vaginal ring was very effective if used consistently and correctly, adding that it has to be inserted once in a month before it was removed.

As for the implants, Ms Maotwe noted that they were small flexible plastic rods measuring about 4cm which were inserted under the skin in the upper arm which was non dominant.

She highlighted that the implanon NXT was effective for three years whereas the Jadelle could go up to five years.

Ms Maotwe further said the new methods could be used by almost every woman despite age and that they were suitable for women who may be having challenges using other contraceptives.

However, Ms Maotwe noted that like other contraceptives, the new methods do have advantages as well as disadvantages.

In his remarks, the deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Haruna Jibril, who spoke on behalf of the acting permanent secretary, Ms Tebogo Bagopi said it's the Ministry of Health's mandate to improve the sexual and reproductive health for all.

He said one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) has been devoted specifically to health.

"This goal, among our targets, intends to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services, including for family planning, information and education," he said.

Dr Jibril said according to the Botswana Family Health Survey of 2007, the contraceptive prevalence rate for the country is currently 52.8 per cent, adding that it's a remarkable achievement by the ministry.

However, Dr Jibril noted that the nation was still assailed by unplanned pregnancies and the maladies associated with it such as high maternal mortality rates, teenage pregnancy as well as high and escalating unsafe abortions.

Source: Botswana Daily News.


Category: Technology

Comments are closed.