RUNDU - The Rundu Intermediate Hospital has for over a month now been out of Depo Provera, a common birth-control injection handed out free to women.
New Era understands that state clinics in and around Rundu – who all rely on the government medical stores at Rundu for supply – have also ran out of the important medication.
The Kavango East and West regions have the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the country. Nearly 5 900 teenage pregnancies were recorded in the Kavango East and West regions between April 2016 and June 2017.
In 2012, the Kavango Region had double the national teenage pregnancy average, standing at 34 percent among girls aged between 15 and 19. The national average teenage pregnancy rate stood at 15 percent at the time.
Depo Provera injection and other family planning contraceptives are part of essential services that women of child bearing age receive for free from the ministry of health.
Dr Joseph Mukerenge, the Medical Superintendent at Rundu Intermediate Hospital confirmed the shortage.
“We currently have been out of stock for a month due to Central Medical Store not having the items but the medication have already been ordered and will be delivered soon. In addition, all clients that have been on the above medication can consult their health care workers at any nearest clinics, so that an alternative family planning method is prescribed,” he told New Era.
Mukerenge said that at the moment, the hospital has other family planning contraceptives in stock, except for the Depo Provera injection.
“This contraceptives are some of the family planning methods that is given to women who opt to plan their families accordingly. Lack of Depo Provera does not really affect us because we have other methods/options of contraceptives in the form of pills that we offer to our clients which works the same as the Depo Provera but administered differently,” Mukerenge noted.
Women who are on Depo Provera injection as a family planning method receive it once every three months.