Uganda has rolled out a birth control method device, Sayana Press, that one can self-inject at any time of their convenience.
It contains one dose of the widely used contraceptive depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA-SC)
Dr Emmanuel Mugisha, the country director of PATH Uganda, a global innovative healthcare organisation that has designed the device, on Wednesday said the contraceptive is not new but the method of administration. The method of administration involves going to a health worker who does the pricking.
“It is made in a very different way with a very short needle to reduce the pain and to make sure it’s pricked just under the skin. It’s a very small device. The white stuff there is the drug and on top is the short needle,” Dr Mugisha explained.
Dr Mugisha said they have redesigned the device in a way that a woman can pick it up from a health facility or village health team and be trained on how to use it.
He made the remarks at the opening of the Network of African Parliamentary Committees of Health meeting in Kampala on Wednesday.
The two-day meeting was held under the theme: “Building the capacity of African policymakers for enhanced implementation of International Conference on Population and Development Programme of Action (ICPD PoA) and improved reproductive health outcomes: Challenges and Opportunities.”
Ms Doreen Kansiime, the coordinator of Advance Family Planning Project, said they have received good feedback from the women so far because they do not have to queue in health facilities, it saves time and allows for privacy.
PATH, Ministry of Health and partners, launched the Sayana Press pilot in 2014.
“The women say it is not like an intrauterine device (IUD) where the men can feel it during sex, with the Sayana Press, the man cannot know,” Ms Kansiime noted.
Approved by the National Drug Authority (NDA) and Ministry of Health at least 10,000 women are said to have used the birth control method device.
How it works
Usage. Sayana Press comes in a package and when a woman gets it, they have to be trained by a health worker or a member of the Village Health Team. Part of the training is being able to read, interpret and follow the calendar because it has to be used every three months.
Before use, one has to shakes the drug to ensure it is mixed properly.
When the upper part of the device is pressed hard, the needle punctures the drug and the drug is then activated, ready to be delivered. The drug is supposed to be injected either on the thigh or on the lower abdomen.
Availability. Sayana Press is currently accessible in most of the lower public health facilities, and a few other private family planning clinics.