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Health Dept to move arm contraceptive implants to other body parts

SABC News doctors P 1 - Health Dept to move arm contraceptive implants to other body parts

The Department of Health is considering moving contraception implants from the arm to different parts of the body. This after dozens of lawsuits around the world where women are demanding compensation from manufacturers.

Lawsuits in America and Australia are underway with women saying they’ve had severe complications because of the implants.

The department says they have found some solutions to the problems experienced worldwide.

The Department of Health introduced Implanon and Jadelle in 2014 and thousands of women took it up.

The implants were hailed as a innovation because they were tooth-peak size and could easily be inserted in the arm for three years.

However, things quickly went south when panic set in.

A number of women reported that they could no longer feel the implants on their arms and scans were unable to detect them.

The migration of the implant is one of the things women around the world are suing manufacturers for.

Some of the complications they are suffering from are blood clots, heart attack and stroke.

Department of Health’s Dr Manala Makua says they have simply trained their surgeons to sit down when performing this procedures to avoid inserting them wrong.

They have also set up centres for women to remove the lost implants.

“We’ve identified 9 sites of centres of excellence where it can be removed because now it requires a different set of skills it needs a specialised doctors who has been particularly trained to do that.”

Makua also says it is likely that in the future the implants will be inserted elsewhere like on the thigh or lower arm.

“We are still looking at evidence to say where would it be where it could remain and be safer, or is it difficult, dangerous if we change and not put it where we are putting it; is there any biological reason why we are putting it here to say, ‘no, no, no, that is just convenience, so it can be changed this side.’ So, that is still coming. That’s how we are responding to the global concern.”

Makua was speaking at a Sexual and Reproductive Health workshop held by Health-e News in Johannesburg.

The workshop also discussed pregnancy, health centres compliance, and government and health practitioners attitudes towards abortion and contraception.

It also emerged that the shortage of contraception in 2018 led to birth rates shooting up to over 1 million from around 950 000.

Stakeholders such as Doctors without Borders and Marie Stopes confirmed that many more women opted for abortion as a result of health facilities running out of contraceptives.

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