The Ministry of Health and Social Services says Namibia does not intend to phase out family planning at all.
New Era followed up the issue last week after receiving various enquiries from concerned women at the coast who were apparently informed by a local healthworker that contraceptive pills would soon be phased out.
However, the public relations officer in the ministry of health, Ester Paulus, put these concerns to rest in a statement indicating that no contraceptives are being phased out at any of the public health facilities. She stressed that the ministry of health does not have plans to phase out family planning.
The health ministry is aware of such concerns and had already requested all regional directors to reaffirm the ministry’s commitment to providing and ensuring that contraceptives are available. She said the ministry spends millions to make contraceptives and other drugs available and accessible at health facilities across the country.
Paulus added that although such services are available to all, healthworkers should counsel and educate clients in choosing family planning methods of their choice. “Special consideration is needed when serving diverse groups, such as adolescents, or men and women near menopause,” she stated.
Public health facilities offer spermicidal and hormonal contraceptives, as well as barrier methods, such as male and female condoms and diaphragms. Surgical methods, which include voluntary female and male sterilisation and intra-uterine contraceptive devices are also available.
“Chemical and implant methods are not available in public health facilities. However, healthworkers should inform participants” about these options, she advised.