Durban – The KwaZulu-Natal health department will be injecting 12 female university students with contraceptives to stop them from falling pregnant as the girls embark to India for pharmaceutical and ultrasonography training, according to reports.
The Daily News reported that the local government were taking drastic steps to ensure the students do not fall pregnant and to avoid the Cuban pregnancy scandal, which embarrassed officials earlier this year.
Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said the students, who were given full bursaries, would be injected with Implanon, which will prevent pregnancy for up to three years.
Dhlomo said the government had invested about R600 000 per student and it was unfair for the students to abuse the privilege.
The Implanon implant is a matchstick-sized rod which is inserted into the arm that stops the release of eggs from the ovaries.
According to Implanon website, side-effects include: vaginitis (inflammation of the vagina), mood swings, headaches and dizziness.
SA Feminists tweeted: "People were forcibly sterilised, irrespective of what they wanted."
Jabulani said: "This is on another level - they don't really have a choice."
Zimasa Mpemnyama tweeted: "How safe is this? What about choice? Policing womens bodies? maybe?"
Last year Sapa reported that three KwaZulu-Natal students, who were part of a group that studied education and medicine at Turkish universities, where sent back home after two of the students were involved in a drunken brawl and one fell pregnant.
At the time former education MEC Senzo Mchunu, said: "It's embarrassing. At the end of two months one child is pregnant."
Mchunu had reportedly promised to conduct pregnancy tests before sending bursary students overseas.