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400 Contraceptive Related Deaths in 2018

The Ministry of Health and Child Care has revealed that more than 400 women died last year due to contraceptive related complications.

This was revealed today at a Parliamentarians Sensitization workshop in the capital.

In an interview with 263Chat, Dr Davidzoyashe Makosa said 409 women died last year due to family planning complications.

“Everyday women die because the country has no proper resources towards family planning. Zimbabwe depends totally on donor funding to secure contraception of which donor funding is unpredictable, unsustainable and often comes with specific commitments which may not align to the country’s priorities,” said Dr Makosa.

“Women need to know the side effects of each and every contraceptive on offer. Therefore, measures must be put in place to avail a wide range of family planning methods such that women have a wide range of choice suitable for them,” said Makosa.

Over two million women are using modern contraception in Zimbabwe and as a result 2 600 maternal deaths have been averted in 2018 due to the use of contraception.

Globally, 62 percent of married women with ages ranging from 15 to 49 use a method of family planning and 56 percent use a modern method. Examples of modern methods include the pill, intrauterine devices, implants, injectables, condoms and sterilization.

Chitungwiza Member of Parliament,  Godfrey Sithole said the government needs to avail a separate budget towards securing contraception.

“Much needs to be done especially on our end to secure contraceptives with our local resources. We cannot be depending on donor funding totally, what if they decide to pull the plug. Our government needs to do something,” said Sithole.

Family planning also reduces the risk of unintended pregnancies among women living with HIV, resulting in fewer infected babies and orphans as well as reducing chances of HIV transmission to their babies.

Zimbabwe is one of the 22 countries with the highest number of pregnant women living with HIV and has committed to the Global Plan on Elimination of New HIV infections Among Children and Keeping Their Mothers Alive.

In addition, male and female condoms play an important role in the prevention of both unintended pregnancy and STIs including HIV.

Family planning helps prevent unintended pregnancies in women older than 40 years who are at high risk of both obstetric and medical complications during pregnancy which include; preeclampsia/eclampsia, deep vein thrombosis and postpartum haemorrhage.

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