Contraception is more than just a personal matter – it’s about the empowerment of women and translates into economic liberty and healthy families.
Although significant progress has been made over the past 15 years in educating and empowering young adults about contraceptives, the COVID-19 pandemic and an increase in gender-based violence has negatively impacted family planning.
In South Africa, the Gauteng Department of Health recorded an alarming 60% increase in teenage pregnancies between April 2020 and March 2021.
During this period, more than 23 000 pregnancies were reported for girls under the age of 19 – including 934 girls between the ages of 10 and 14 giving birth.
According to the World Health Organisation, 74 million women living in low and middle-income countries globally have unintended pregnancies annually. This leads to 25 million unsafe abortions and 47 000 maternal deaths every year.
Tina Visser, Medical Advisor for Women’s Healthcare at Bayer South Africa shares, “Teenage pregnancy has a devastating impact on the future of young girls, including emotional trauma, prolonged educational time or early dropouts, which ultimately leads to economic instability. Enabling access to reliable and unbiased information on contraceptives and pregnancy allows young adults to take control of their sexual health and stay safe.”
The YourLifeNow website is designed to help young people to be proactive about their contraception as well as sexual and reproductive health needs – educating them on how to stop the spread of #STIs and avoid unintended pregnancies while advancing human rights. YourLifeNow was recently refreshed with vital updated local content, including a dedicated frequently asked questions section. The information on the website also enables young people to be prepared with questions they may wish to discuss with their healthcare provider.
Given the devastating impact and emotional trauma of unplanned pregnancies on young girls, the YourLifeNow platform has been launched, made possible through a coalition of international partners with an interest in sexual and reproductive health, sponsored by Bayer. Bayers’ efforts aim to support women making informed choices to benefit from voluntary family planning and seeking support to access modern contraception.
Go to https://www.yourlifenow.co.za/en for more information.