Govt urged to allocate more funds to purchase contraceptives


Harare (New Ziana) -The Zimbabwe government has been urged to increase the budgetary allocation for purchasing contraceptives in order to reduce reliance on donors, who can withdraw their support at any time.

Dr Edwin Mpeta, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) program specialist for reproductive health told journalists ahead of the launch of the 2023 state of the world population report that while the government should be commended for its efforts, it should do more to ensure women have access to birth control options.

“The government is playing a key role now and we want it to improve contribution so that we have that security to say whatever happens with external funding, we are able to ensure that women access contraceptives,” he said.

“We have been engaging the government and the good thing is there is real progress. I want to congratulate the government in this area because starting last year; government invested US$1.5 million to procure contraceptives. This year also they have already initiated a process of procuring another batch of US$1.5 million worth of contraceptives which is very commendable.”

Zimbabwe requires at least US$8 million worth of contraceptives annually.

Dr Mpeta said the bulk of contraceptives used in Zimbabwe are procured by development partners.

“The government needs to do more in terms of investing domestic resources in procuring the contraceptives,” he said.

He said the pill is the most popular contraceptive method with Zimbabwean women with 40 percent using it.

“At the moment it’s the pill. Around 40 percent of our women are using the pill. This is because it’s easier to take and is readily available. It can be given out by community health workers. The pill is easier to dispense and avail to women,” he said.

Contraception, also known as birth control, anticonception and fertility control, is the use of methods or devices to prevent unintended pregnancy.

Birth control has been used since ancient times but effective and safe methods only became available in the 20th century.

The most effective methods include sterilization by way of vasectomy in males and in women tubal ligation, intrauterine devices IDUs and implants.

This is followed by a number of hormone-based methods including pills, patches, vaginal rings and injections.

Sterilisation, while highly effective, is not usually reversible like all others, most immediately upon stopping them.

New Ziana

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