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Tertiary students demand access to morning-after-pill

Emergency Contraceptive called Plan B

May 19, 2021 2 min read

2 min read

THE rate of unplanned pregnancies amongst students at local institutions of higher learning continues to escalate despite the universal awareness and availability of contraceptives to the general population, local pharmacist Sister Lisemelo Leisanyane says.

She says the availability of the emergency contraceptive called Plan B, commonly known as the “morning-after-pill”, which is popular in most local campuses was supposed to make life easier for students.

Sister Leisanyane’s pharmacy is located in down-town Maseru, where it serves students from the four big institutions in the capital city, including Lerotholi Polytechnic (Fokothi), Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT), the Institute of Development Management (IDM) and the Lesotho Institute of Public Administration and Management (LIPAM).

“I cannot deny the fact that my business is doing very well in terms of the morning after pill sale, many young people, especially students are my top customers,” she said.

She added: “They normally come in great numbers after the weekends; this is because young couples get busy over the weekend. Most often than not, they became careless and forget protection.”

She said although most women are aware of the emergency contraception, it is however, an aspect of prevention that a lot of people always question, from how much it costs to its safety.

“Some people have absolutely no side effects from using the pill while others misuse the contraception by taking it like ordinary medication.

“The long-term effect of abusing morning after-pills include completely changing women’s menstrual cycles and making them ill for long periods of time,” Sister Leisanyane also said.

She added: “The price of the pill differs depending on the type and the length of time that has passed since the woman has had unprotected sex.”

A tertiary student who spoke to Metro on condition of anonymity said as young women, they want the freedom to have access to the emergency contraception as it helps them prevent unwanted pregnancies.

“I wish the pill could be given another name except ‘Morning after pill’ because as soon as people hear about it, all they think about is that whoever is taking it had unprotected sex the night before,” the young woman also said.

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According to the Lesotho Planned Parenthood Association (LPPA), with many birth control options available, choosing the most suitable form can be discouraging for many teens.

LPPA believes that the correct use of contraceptives saves lives and prevents unsafe abortions. The association remains committed to its mission that every pregnancy must be planned and wanted.

The LPPA further shows that there are numerous teenagers who drop out of school throughout the country due to unwanted and planned pregnancies.

Their lack of proper education prohibits them from accessing vital information about their health and essential rights, hiding sensitive issues from them, thus destroying their lives as well as future in the process, the body also says.

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