Covid-19 disrupted contraceptive supply chain

By Maria Kandjungu

BEN Nangombe, the executive director of the Ministry of Health and Social Services says they expect to have contraceptives back in stock by next week.

Nangombe this week told Confidente that the main issue that was stopping the delivery of contraceptives, among other medications, were permits and the logistics during Covid-19, which have since been sorted out, meaning the stock is ready for delivery.

“We have placed the orders but we had an issue of delays in permits, it is what was stopping the delivery and that has been sorted out.
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We expect the delivery to be done this week and distribution will done, as well. We should have them in hospitals by next week,” Nangombe said.

Earlier this month, the ministry ran out of contraceptives, including the pill which is taken by women and girls every day to prevent unwanted pregnancies. The delay, according to the ministry, was a result of the lockdown restrictions and logistical delays caused by the response to the Covid-19, causing a shortage of contraceptives at heath facilities countrywide.

The ministry reportedly only have the Depo-Provera injections available, which health officials say are not ideal for use by young women who have not had children as it may affect their fertility.

Nangombe was earlier this month quoted as saying that the ministry faced a critical situation where many of the items are either in short supply or are not reaching them on time because of disruptions in logistical arrangements after the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Namibian newspaper also reported that the Namibia Planned Parenthood Association (Nappa) fears the unavailability of contraceptives and contraceptive methods in the country could see a rise in teenage pregnancies, especially at a time when schools and recreational centres for social gatherings are closed.

They said this could potentially lead to girls and young women engaging in inter-generational and transactional sexual activities to pass time.
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