PUBLIC health facilities in Namibia have run out of almost all contraceptives due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Namibia media reported.
According to a report in the daily newspaper The Namibian, this includes the pill, which is taken by women and girls every day to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
The newspaper reported that the only contraceptive available was the Depo-Provera injection, which health officials said was not ideal for use by young women who have not had children as it might affect their fertility.
The executive director of health Ben Nangombe confirmed the shortage of contraceptives to the newspaper last week.
‘We are facing a situation where many of the items are either in short supply or are unable to reach us on time because of the disruption in logistical arrangements after the Covid-19 outbreak.
‘We have a challenge in that suppliers cannot deliver, because their consignments are held up at ports and factories due to tight logistics,’ he said.
The shortage of contraceptives has led to many women and teenage girls being turned away from health facilities.
The Namibia Planned Parenthood Association (Nappa) said they feared the unavailability of contraceptives and contraceptive methods in the country could see a rise in teenage pregnancies.
According to the association’s community outreach coordinator, Risto Mushongo, the abrupt closure of schools and recreational centres for social gatherings could lead girls and young women to engage in inter-generational and transactional sexual activities to pass the time.
In April, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said in a statement that due to global lockdown regulations, 47 million women could lose access to contraception and this could lead to seven million unplanned pregnancies in the coming months.
The research shows women’s health would be heavily impacted as they were bound to have little access to facilities due to them being closed or providing limited services.