Incensed parents took to various radio stations with their concerns and objections after their children were recently given contraceptive injections without their consent, Bosveld Review reports.
The parents said that some of the schools in question had sent out letters informing parents that representatives from local hospitals would explain to learners about menstruation and contraception, but no mention was made of the contraceptive injections.
Bosveld Review spoke to some of the parents, who wished to remain anonymous due to fear of vindication, about the matter, and they said they did not support this kind of system within schools.
“It’s really not fair to give or inject our children with contraceptives without our consent. The letters we received only said the school will be doing prevention awareness talks about menstruation and contraceptives among others. When our children came home, however, they told us the disturbing news that they were given contraceptive injections. This is totally unacceptable,” one parent said.
Another angry mother said giving or injecting their children with contraceptives was worrisome and a big concern, as some of the children might be allergic to specific types of medication.
“What will the school say if a child gets sick from these injections? As parents we will be left with no other option than to sue the school if they continue doing this without our consent.”
The department of health spokesperson, Neil Shikwambana, said as the department of health, they did not administer contraceptives to learners at schools.
“What we do in schools is to offer health promotion talks where we teach learners about issues related to various contraceptive methods such as condoms. This is done to stop teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV infections among learners. If learners feel they need to be on contraceptives, they can visit the nearest clinic for assistance,” Shikwambana said.
In terms of the Children’s Act, no 38 of 2005, children from the age of 12 years no longer need parents’ consent to get condoms, contraceptive pills, HIV treatments or to perform abortion, he explained.
The department of education spokesperson, Sam Makondo, said: “When it comes to giving learners prevention injections at schools, the schools need the parents’ or guardians’ consent as learners are minors who are still under their parents’ or guardians’ care”.