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New birth control jab introduced

The UNFPA representative to Lesotho Dr Marc Derveeuw

April 4, 2021 2 min read

2 min read

IT has always been a huge challenge for most women in Lesotho to travel long distances to access family planning services, especially in remote health facilities.

However, that situation is rapidly changing.

The Ministry of Health together with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has introduced a new self-injection depo contraceptive called Sayana Press.

Sayana Press can be self-administered by a client or by any (non-medical) person who has received minimal training.

The new method has a three-month active period of protection. UNFPA recently supported the training of over 500 community health workers in both Mokhotlong and Quthing to introduce this new family planning method.

The two districts have the highest unmet need for family planning in the country.

Many women in both districts welcomed the initiative and felt empowered to administer the long-term contraceptive method in their community by themself, with their daughters or with the help of a trained community health worker.

UNFPA has noted that there is no more need for long journeys to the health facilities if women want to decide on the number of children they want or if they are happy with their family size.

The method also revealed to be most appropriate to reach communities and improve access to family planning in times of COVID-19.  

The Family Planning Manager at the Ministry of Health Mangose Sithole Tšotetsi has confirmed that the role played by community health workers in the distribution of Sayana Press is crucial to empowering women.

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She valued the support from UNFPA in the procurement of additional family planning commodities in 2020 which was a relief of the government funding that is affected by the COVID-19 priorities.

The UNFPA representative to Lesotho Dr Marc Derveeuw has commended the government for starting to procure family planning commodities from the national budget.  

He said access to family planning is a right, reiterating that it is at the heart of UNFPA’s mandate and transformative results in Lesotho.

UNFPA will continue to avail resources to further roll out the Sayana Press contraceptive and to reach full national coverage by the end of 2021, Dr Derveeuw has pledged.


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