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South African Government Launches Free Contraceptive Device For Women
The contraceptive device, which is a sub-dermal implant lasting three years, is expected to reduce the number of unwanted and teenage pregnancies and reduce the number of maternal deaths in the country.
The device is implanted below the skin of the arm and will be added to the current birth control methods used by women to prevent unwanted pregnancy.
Motsoaledi said when he unveiled the new device at the Ethafeni Clinic in Tembisa, near Johannesburg, on Thursday during the launch of the revised Contraceptive and Fertility Planning Policy and Service Delivery Guidelines that family planning and the use of contraceptives had a wide range of benefits.
He reminded the gathering that the National Development Plan asked all South Africans to work together to reduce the burden of disease, in particular those related to maternal and child mortality. "Our Contraceptive and Fertility Planning Policy and guidelines are rooted in that," Motsoaledi said.
A national team has been set up to visit all hospitals, both public and private, to collect data about women who died as a result of pregnancy. "From this committee, we know there are one million women falling pregnant in South Africa per year, out of these, 8.0 per cent are girls below the age of 18."
He said these minors were giving birth to 80,000 unplanned babies annually. "They contribute to 36 per cent of all maternal deaths, because they are too young to fall pregnant. They easily die .... due to issues like hypertension."
However, the minister pointed out that the new device was not only targeted at young girls, but married women, who are advised by their doctors not to fall pregnant again, following previous pregnancy-related complications.
Once inserted, the device is effective for three years. "You no longer have to go to the hospital every three months, you'll now go after three years. But if you want to have a baby before three years, you just come and ask us to remove it," said Motsoaledi.
He said 2,000 nurses had so far been trained on how to insert the device which will be available in all public hospitals, free of charge, by June. By the time it is rolled out, 4,000 nurses would have been trained.
-- BERNAMA-NNN-SA NEWS
news coverage in our Newswire service.
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