The Ministry of Health (MOH) has launched two new birth control contraceptives for women. The two new contraceptives are the vaginal ring and the implant. When introducing them the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Jibril Haruna said the contraceptives allows people to have children by choice. Haruna said people should understand that family planning is important in determining when to initiate sexual activity and when to start having children. “Family planning creates an environment where men and women discuss their reproductive lives in depth with each other, plan to have children by choice when they are ready physically, socially, mentally, economically and spiritually,” he said. According to Haruna, voluntary family planning is a proven and cost effective measure for securing the health, wellbeing and development of women, men families, communities and nations.
Acting Director in the Department of Public Health Veronicah Leburu said that the implants are the long acting reversible contraceptive methods as ImplanonNXT-1 rod which is used for three years while Jadelle-2 rods are used for five years. She said dual protection is important because the contraceptives are not protecting against sexually transmitted infections. The Nuva Ring can be put on for three weeks inside the vagina, and can also be roved and put back only in a period of three hours. She said all these contraceptives are good but the vaginal ring cannot be used by people smoking cigarettes or over 35 years old because that can increase the risk of serious heart and blood vessel problems. “The advantages of the ring are that it is highly effective, longer compliance use, have more client control and side effects are easily reversed while the disadvantages are that it comes at a high cost, challenges with menstruation changes, vaginal irritation, may disturb during sexual intercourse and does not protect against STIs,” she said.
The Acting Permanent Secretary in the ministry Tebogo Bagopi said that they have long appealed for the introduction of these new contraceptives because recently in Botswana there have been rise in teenage pregnancies, illegal abortions, unplanned and unwanted pregnancies.