New contraceptive programme to be launched in public clinics

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Pretoria – The Department of Health will next week launch a new contraceptive programme in clinics, adding to the current birth control methods used by women to prevent pregnancy.

Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi on Tuesday said that the new method, the transdermal implant, will be launched on 27 February 2014, and will be available at no cost in all public clinics.

Motsoaledi said the contraceptive is implanted below the skin of the arm and remains there for a period of three years, preventing unwanted pregnancy.

Mentioning some of the advantages of the new method, Motsoaledi said that unlike Depo Provera -- the contraceptive injection which takes at least 12 months to leave the system before a woman can conceive again -- with the new method, a woman can conceive again within a few weeks after removing the device.

“It gives women freedom to control their own lives. It can be taken out anytime and if they want to [fall pregnant], it only takes few weeks to conceive,” Motsoaledi said.

Some nurses have undergone training on how to properly insert the implant and 4 000 more will also undergo training.

HPV campaign

Meanwhile, Motsoaledi announced the launch of the vaccination programme to be administered to grade 4 girl learners in public schools.

The programme, which is part of the Integrated School Health Programme, will see the learners being vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is caused by the sexually transmitted HPV. The minister said the cancer is responsible for the deaths of 3 500 women per annum.

“About 550 000 learners will get the first dose in March and again after six months, and every year after. Through the programme, we will have a new generation of women, who are protected from cervix cancer,” said Motsoaledi. –

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