By Fortune Jean Mguni
Universal access to sexual and reproductive health, inclusive of family planning has been seen as the objective for sustainable development among women. The Zimbabwe National Family Planning (ZNFPC) has recently introduced on trial a new contraceptive called Sayana Press. This new contraceptive, which is manufactured by Pfizer Inc, is an injection that should be administered every 3 months. Unlike Depo Provera, which should be administered by a health professional, Sayana Press can be self-administered at home. Sayan Press single dose contains 104 mg medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) in 0.65ml suspension for injection, unlike Depo Provera that has 150mg.
Health care providers in Plumtree stated that they have welcomed this new edition of the contraceptive method and they have initiated the trial rollout. However, they are facing a little bit of resistance from women in the community who are said to be afraid to try and question the effectiveness of the contraceptive.
“Roll out of the Sayana Press has begun in Plumtree. It is a safe drug that has been approved by the medicines control authority. it is currently registered and approved by regulatory authorities and therefore it is safe, Sayan Press works effectively as Depo Provera but has an added advantage it has lower milligrams has hence few side effects as compared to Depo Provera. However, many women here in Plumtree are sceptical about trying out the new contraceptive. On a weekly average, we get at least 6 women willing to give the injection a try” cited nurse Ncube
A couple of women interviewed concurred with what nurse Ncube said and added that most hormonal contraceptives come with many side effects such as migraines, low sex drive changes in menstrual cycle flows and weight gain, they would rather stick to the one that their bodies have gotten used to rather than trying something new that may cause a lot of challenges and even get them pregnant.
“Many contraceptive methods have side effects; some may cause low sex drive this can affect our marriages, headaches and changes in our monthly periods. Some of us have had to try a couple of contraceptives to actually find that better suit of body and any change in that may result in unplanned pregnancies” said Mrs Nleya
Zimbabwe contraceptive prevalence that is proportion to women between the ages of 16-49 is about 65%, despite the significance of the rate the outbreak of Covid 19 last year disrupted access to contraceptive leaving many women at risk of unwanted pregnancies and high record of teenage pregnancies. Sayan Press if women can be educated broadly on it will help in cases of deferment of contraception.