THE Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) bemoans the low number of nurses who have attended family planning clinical courses in Manicaland, which has resulted in the province falling behind in the uptake of modern methods of contraception.
Speaking at the inaugural family planning forum in Mutare on Friday, ZNFPC provincial marketing and communications officer Mr Daniel Maromo said the quality and uptake of modern contraception was compromised by a number of factors, including service providers themselves.
“The country has reached the set target for 2020 for the uptake of contraception at a rate of 68 percent but as a province, Manicaland is still lagging behind,” he said.
“It has the lowest demand for contraceptives other than the pill and condoms at 69 percent. Out of that 69 percent, only 82 percent actually get efficient services.”
Mr Maromo said the lack of skilled training by service providers in the clinical procedure of inserting modern contraceptive methods such as the intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) had resulted in family planning service providers failing to deal with complications and the after effects of these methods resulting in withdrawals.
He said ZNFPC was pushing for the use of long-term acting reversible contraceptives (LARCS) such as jadelle, which lasts for five years, implants that last for three years and the intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD).
“We also need to increase knowledge of LARCS among women and men to increase the uptake of contraceptives by 2020 in line with the family planning strategy,” said Mr Maromo.
Speaking at the same event, ZNFPC marketing and communications officer Ms Rudo Mungayi highlighted the areas that needed to be addressed in the province.
“Manicaland has an unmet need of contraception of 10,1 percent, which needs to be reduced to 6 percent by year 2020 and a low contraceptive prevalence rate of 59 percent which needs to be increased,” she said.
“This can basically be attained by increasing training in the service provision of family planning methods, especially in remote and rural areas.”
Stakeholders in the health industry who attended the forum said an improvement in training of nurses and family planning service providers would speed up the uptake of modern methods of contraception in the province.