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Eswatini hit by contraceptives shortage

By Khulile Thwala

Eswatini has been hit by a shortage of contraceptive pills.

The acting Director of Health Services Dr Velephi Okello has attributed the shortage of some contraceptives to a stumbling block in the tendering process for the procuring of the contraceptive drug.

The drug in question is Depo-Provera, a well-known brand name for medroxyprogesterone acetate, a contraceptive injection that contains the hormone progestin. Depo-Provera is given as an injection every three months.

Dr Okello said the delivery of the pharmaceutical contraception is disrupted by the inability to attain a reliable supplier on time, owing to the tendering process.

“Due to the inconsistency of the delivery of the drug, most of the time it is delivered on a small scale and we have to engage different suppliers at a time. It is true that there is a short supply of this specific drug and what we can say for now is that we are focusing on ensuring the next consignment is delivered and further sort out the logistical issues,” said the acting director.

She emphasised that there are different types of contraceptives which can be used as alternatives, although most are accustomed to the depo-Provera. However, she said there were three types of oral contraceptives made available at public health facilities currently one type of IUD, an ICD, and condoms.

Dr Okello urged women to consult with health practitioners at the different health facilities to inform them of alternatives to Depo Provera.

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