The North West Department of Health has called on women seeking to terminate their pregnancies to use safe public health facilities.
Department spokesperson Tebogo Lekgethwane said the department has designated hospitals and community health centres that provide Choice on Termination of Pregnancy (CTOP) services. The service is free of charge under any circumstance and has safety guarantees to women.
“The department also offers contraceptive methods that women can choose for reproduction health care. Available services are contraceptive injections, loops, contraceptive pills, implants and condoms, which are freely available throughout health facilities,” Lekgethwane said.
CTOP can be offered to women up until 12 weeks (three months) of pregnancy. Beyond this period, termination of pregnancy becomes difficult and complicated.
The department has also warned women against using “backstreet abortion” services as they create serious health problems.
Bogus doctors use unsafe methods of terminating pregnancy that often result in serious infections, infertility and even death of unsuspecting women. A number of women have fallen victim to bogus doctors.
Lekgethwane noted that the problem facing the department is that people who use the backstreet services often flock back to the health care facilities with serious complications.
“This is not only costly to the department but creates a burden on the health care system. Since the implementation of the Choice of Termination of Pregnancy Act in 1996, the North West has made the service available in 18 health facilities like hospitals and community health centres,” Lekgethwane.
Farewell to medical students going to Cuba
Meanwhile, North West Premier Professor Job Mokgoro, accompanied by Health MEC Madoda Sambatha, will this afternoon host a farewell function for selected young people, who are going to Cuba to study Medicine through the South African-Cuban Medical Programme.
Since 1998, the National Department of Health has been sending young people to Cuba to study medicine in order to address the shortage of doctors in the country’s health facilities.
In 2003, the recruitment included medical technology students following a study conducted by the Medical Research Council of South Africa, which revealed a need to reinforce personnel in health technology management.
To date, 113 students have graduated in the Cuban Medical Scholarship since the inception of the programme.
This includes 32 students, who are currently on internship and 11 who are in the Community Service Programme.
The number of Cuban trained students doing final rotations in local medical universities is standing at 72.