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In a ceremony cited as “evidence of the power of partnerships,” by Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health and Wellness Ms Shenaaz El-Halabi, UNFPA  handed over 40 016 implants, 300 000 female condoms, 4560 contraceptive pills and 1000 Intra uterine device  to the Ministry of Health & Wellness. The Permanent Secretary emphasised that access to a broad mix of contraceptives will go a long way in addressing unintended pregnancies, especially among young people, in the country.

Ms. Mareledi Segotso, UNFPA Botswana Assistant Representative emphasised UNFPA’s commitment to supporting the country to ensure that every girl or woman who chooses not to get pregnant or delay pregnancy has access to a variety of contraceptive methods to choose from. She stated that “An unintended pregnancy can set in motion a lifetime of missed opportunities, trapping a woman and her children in an endless cycle of poverty.” She informed the audience that the State of World Population report 2017 revealed that inequalities in reproductive health are linked to economic inequalities, and economic inequalities reinforce reproductive health inequalities. The reproductive health contribution was therefore UNFPAs contribution to reducing inequalities and leaving no one behind. Ms. Segotso furthermore urged the Ministry of health & Wellness to distribute the commodities to those who need as quickly as possible.

The support was made possible with  funding from  DFID, as part of the Preventing Maternal Death in East and Southern Africa (PreMDESA) programme.

Speaking on behalf of partners  Ms. Una Ngwenya, Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Welfare Association, commended the provision of long-acting, reversible contraceptives because of the role they play in ensuring that young girls stay in school. She further emphasised that the demand for contraceptives is very high with the BOFWA youth friendly clinics currently having a waiting list of 600 young people. She concluded that, “If we take care of our young people today, surely our future will be taken care of.”

Total contribution (2016 & 2017)

·         42 016 Implants

·         750 000 FC2 Female condoms

·         4560 Microgynon contraceptive pills

·         1000 Intra uterine Device

·         71 Health care workers trained on insertion & removal of implants