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Health Ministry to respond to Mudede on ‘dangerous’ contraceptives

By Shamiso Yikoniko

HARARE – Parliament has summoned the Health and Child Care Ministry to explain complications associated with certain female contraceptives. Also expected at the hearing are officials from the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe.

Mugabe's trusted election rigger: Registra General Tobaiwa Mudede (in glasses)
Registra General Tobaiwa Mudede (in glasses)

Women’s Affairs, Gender and Community Development Parliamentary Portfolio Committee chair Beatrice Nyamupinga said they invited the ministry after Registrar-General Mr Tobaiwa Mudede recounted to them risks associated with some contraceptives.

Mr Mudede told the committee that the West was promoting dangerous birth control measures to de-populate developing countries, and advocated traditional birth control methods.

Zimbabwean women largely use pills, injectables, implants; while men usually opt for condoms. Some women say implants cause headaches, dizziness, breast tenderness, weight gain, irregular menstruation, mood swings, depression and acne.

According to the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey Report (2014), Zimbabwe’s contraceptive prevalence rate for use of modern contraceptive methods is 66,5 percent, with just 0,5 percent using traditional methods. Thirty-three percent do not use any contraceptives.

Nyamupinga said, “We have invited the Ministry of Health and Child Care and the regulatory authority to explain, or rather, respond to claims by Mr Mudede.

“The Registrar-General has had this debate for a long time, but the two authorities have remained quiet and that has left many women confused. If the claims being made by Mr Mudede are true, why has MCAZ gone ahead to register these dangerous contraceptives? We want them to come for the hearing within two weeks.”

Health Ministry Acting Principal Director (Preventive Services) Dr Owen Mugurungi said modern contraceptives were safe despite their side-effects.

“We acknowledge that modern contraceptives are with some side-effects. However, no type of medication is without side-effects.

“We think modern methods are still safe, acceptable and useful in reproductive health,” he said.

“The socio-economic benefits outweigh the side-effects. Those who would have developed side-effects can always find alternatives, meaning the side-effects can be managed.

“Modern contraceptives enable women’s bodies to recover after child birth and also allow women to actively participate in economic activities.” The Sunday Mail