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Mkhize: Govt to evaluate adequacy of public sector abortion facilities

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize acknowledged that several facilities across the country which provide services were not optimal.

FILE: Health Minister Zweli Mkhize visited the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital as part of his 67 minutes on Mandela Day. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Government said on Tuesday it planned to evaluate the adequacy of termination of pregnancy services in public health institutions.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said this would be done to improve access. The minister acknowledged that several facilities across the country which provided services were not optimal.

Addressing the media about reproductive rights, Mkhize said government was working on solutions with the World Health Organisation to strengthen access to health services.

“We are going to be doing an evaluation of the adequacy of the services. We will be doing so with the view to strengthen access to health services,” he said.

TEEN SEX EDUCATION

Mkhize said more needed to be done to educate young people about sex and reproductive issues.

The minister said government was committed to the realisation of the rights, which were enshrined in the Constitution.

The subject of teenage sex education had been a contentious issue between parents and government, with suggestions that children be provided with condoms often opposed.

Mkhize said the responsibility to teach young people about sex to prevent teenage pregnancies did not only lie with government.

“We need to support the families and parents by ensuring that there is adequate information for young people. It’s not that we’re teaching them things that children should not be knowing. The information needs to be tailored for the appropriate age,” he said.

He said government remained committed to the realisation of reproductive rights for women.

Mkhize promised that the rollout of the National Health Insurance (NHI) would add more services to achieve this. He said regulations around the issues were being revised.

“We need to look at what needs to be done in terms of strengthening services and where there are inefficiencies. So, the regulations will be revised to improve services based on feedback that was from those reviews that were done since the start of services.”

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