HARARE – The Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council (ZNFPC) has unveiled a new birth control pill.
According to Edmore Munongo, the ZNFPC director technical services, the new pill, Marvelon 28 is taken the same way as other birth control pills.
Munongo said the pill was acquired after funding problems faced by the donor at the end of last year, which saw UNFPA bailing Zimbabwe out, albeit with a different brand.
“In line with its mandate, ZNFPC realised a supply gap of the control pill, the combined oral contraceptive manufactured by Famy Care Limited,” Munongo said.
“The anticipated supply gap will take a few months and is likely to affect the national distribution system.
“Upon anticipating the supply gap, ZNFPC has procured Marvelon 28 birth control pills which work the same as the control pills. This move is meant to close the anticipated supply gap for this period. Thereafter, normal supply of the control pill will resume.”
Zimbabwe’s public health sector is largely donor-funded.
The new product also has 28 tablets in a packet which are all white. Instead of the brown line in the birth control pill pack, the Marvelon pack has seven tiny tablets.
Distribution of the pill is starting in Harare and Bulawayo.
“We feel that consumers in the two cities can accept it easier,” Munongo said.
“Gradually, it will be distributed to other cities and rural areas. The tablets will continue to be available after the situation normalises to give women variety.”
According to Munongo, about 41 percent of the 59 percent Zimbabwean women using family planning are on oral contraceptives.
“Adolescents are the major contributor to unmet needs and we are running programmes to educate those old enough on available options,” he said, further appealing to consumers to avoid buying family planning tablets from the streets.-Daily news