Pre-teens given birth control injections

2011-09-13 09:35

Port Elizabeth - Girls aged between 10 and 13 were injected with contraceptives at their primary school in Zwide, Port Elizabeth, according to a news report on Tuesday.

Nandipha Ngalo's 11-year-old daughter was one of those who the Dora Nginza Hospital’s family planning unit injected at Emzomncane Primary, The Herald reported.

“My concern is what effect this will have on my daughter because she hasn’t even started menstruating,” Ngalo said.

A Grade 6 pupil said the family planning unit gave them “a talk about menstruation and all that happens” and then injected each girl.

The unit told the girls that the injection would prevent pregnancy if they were raped.

Parents were called in afterwards and informed that their children had received birth control injections.

Thuleka January, the principal of the school, denied knowledge of the forced birth control, and referred questions to the Port Elizabeth district education department.

Nelson Mandela Bay gynaecologist Marcus van Heerden said the move was "totally unethical" and that the injection could delay puberty in such young girls.

Dr Ann Skelton, of the Centre for Child Law at the University of Pretoria, said: “You don’t just give a contraceptive willy-nilly".

Children below the age of 12 needed parental consent for reproductive health treatment, she said.

  • kalabafazi - 2011-09-13 09:41

    Ah but the Goverment knows how to raise children much better than parents do. No more corporal punishment, our kids don't have to respect teachers anymore, parents are not allowed to have their kids circumcised without the childs consent. HEY LEADERS!!! LEAVE OUR KIDS ALONE!!!

      GuyverXT9 - 2011-09-13 09:56

      Only one problem with your post, present government can't be described as leaders.

      kalabafazi - 2011-09-13 10:13

      I agree GuyverXT9 but They definitly are not teachers and the Pink Floyd song seemed to pop up in my head as I wrote the comment

      McDaNife - 2011-09-13 10:16

      Disgusting, how can they inject these kids with birth control injections.

      daaivark - 2011-09-13 11:35

      So do you have children, IC1?

      zaatheist - 2011-09-13 11:43

      So you agree to the mutilation of male infants. What about female circumcision? Clitoris removal. Approve of that too. Just more mean spirited religious BS and child abuse.

      The Gecko - 2011-09-13 12:15

      @IC1 - do you have any idea what contraception can do to a pre-pubescent girls body? Population growth is a problem, but this is no way to solve it!

      Barry - 2011-09-13 12:48

      We can see that the stupid ANC government is charge of this Municipality

      IC1 - 2011-09-13 12:54

      @Daaivark, 2 in actual fact, both a son and a daughter, but I guess I just bring them up differently, they no the difference and make the right choices in life. How are yours doing, got any "premature" grandkids yet?

      ZACommentator - 2011-09-13 13:15

      At least someone is stopping the breeding

      Harvey - 2011-09-13 14:01

      Yet again, the only person bringing up religion is the athiest. Classic.

      daaivark - 2011-09-13 15:23

      With respect, IC1, I have three children, all adults, and probably more mature than you are, and not one barefoot nor pregnant. Do NOT abuse my children!

      demonsofhate - 2011-09-13 16:48

      @Harvey Hahahaa!!! Good observation. There are no atheists in foxholes, hey...

  • Nimitzz - 2011-09-13 09:42

    See, stupid things like this happen when you allow people to do what they want.

      WarDog - 2011-09-13 09:54

      I don’t agree. I’ve been told by teachers I know how kids as young as 10 have been caught having sex and it’s not all that uncommon. South Africa is well known worldwide for its rape statistics. I agree that the parents needed to be informed but the people at the clinic see more and know more about what is actually happening out there. All in all I think that they are trying to help these kids.

      PB - 2011-09-13 10:37

      To all the people who gave WarDog thumbsdown - get real people - how many really young girls do we see and hear about who are pregnant? Fully agree that the way it was done is unethical, but I can see some reasoning behind it.

      DW - 2011-09-13 11:10

      WarDog, there are all sorts of risks in taking hormones, and giving them to 10 year olds would certainly not be recommended by the manufacturers. Most girls this age have not even started menstruating yet. Hormones can cause breast cancer and carry various other risks as well. I do agree that birth control is a critical issue, but you cannot just give hormone injections to kids and then inform the parents afterwards. Had this been done to MY daughter, there would have been hell to pay

      david - 2011-09-13 11:34

      You cannot fix a problem by acting unethically. Ever. The health department officials should never be allowed touch a patient again.

      Mundu - 2011-09-13 16:30

      Even if they get the injection they will still be get nillys willie. How about stopping the rampant shagging and getting on with some school work?

  • yyxx - 2011-09-13 09:45

    wow. that is really really messed up

  • Bloodbane_3 - 2011-09-13 09:49

    Who the F* do these people think they are, who ever gave them a shot should be shot! touch my child with out my consent and you'll end up in the morgue

  • Nkalakatha - 2011-09-13 09:51

    Eish what next...showing the children how to masturbate ??

      kalabafazi - 2011-09-13 10:17

      That would be healthier, cheaper and prevent pregnancy whilst at the same time provide a level of satisfaction.

      daaivark - 2011-09-13 11:41

      I like that, kalabafazi. Very amusing and rather practical. Let's face it, I think it is commonly known that most children either involuntarily or voluntarily "masturbate" by playing with their genitals from an early age. And with respect, Nkalakatha, one doesn't need to teach kids that. They just do it. - 2011-09-13 12:50

      Don't joke... Read somewhere that before the child goes to high school he or she will know how to please themselfs??...??? All in the name of "preventing unwnated pregnancies"?

      MojoBa - 2011-09-13 14:28

      There are schools of thought that say that if a child masturbates, they will not need satisfaction from an outside source so badly.

      Cowgoesmoo - 2011-09-13 15:32

      This is almost like advocating sex to these youngster, or saying the atrocities against them are alright, as long as they don't fall pregnant.

  • MissGremlinSays - 2011-09-13 09:52

    Roll out the program in Polokwane.

      Prof - 2011-09-13 10:27

      Take ur kids there and leave ours alone. Have u ever heared about the word respect. Do u think that parents can't decide for their kids?

      d2eguy - 2011-09-13 10:44

      @prof ... some parents have no clue and others just don`t care as all the off-spring are to them is a government grant and more drugs and alcohol , take note of where the school is .

      Prof - 2011-09-13 10:50

      d2eguy--still that does not give you the prerogative to decide for them. The grant thing is new and that cannot be the reason for blaming some parents.

      MissGremlinSays - 2011-09-13 10:57

      @ Prof. In a recent study, it was discovered, that it seems to be a "status symbol" for the girls in a certain region in Polokwane, to be pregnant. I firmly believe, that education, is the ONLY way we will ever save our country. If we can keep our children in school, and teach them, we might survive. Do you really wish for our daughters to leave school with a grade 8 education and a hungry mouth to feed? It is like committing them to a LIFETIME of poverty, and ensuring that the cycle of poverty and hunger and illiteracy in this country continues forver. Some of the children are running wild in the streets, sleeping at boyfriends houses, bunking school - because the parents are either not there, or not capable of guiding the child. We have to take drastic measures, before these children ruin their lives. It is not enough, to say "leave our children alone", quite frankly, they have been left alone long enough.

      DW - 2011-09-13 11:22

      So MissGremlin, please tell me, if this was YOUR daughter, would you think it was OK? I am not talking about education. I am talking about giving your 10 year old daughter a hormone injection without discussing it with you or her, and then informing you afterwards. Education IS the only way. But what they did was NOT education. It was a violation of these girls' human rights, and believe me I am not one of those who usually would raise human rights as an issue. I have 2 daughters. If this happened to them you would have to hold me back from being extremely violent.

      Prof - 2011-09-13 11:24

      MissGremlinSays-- The problem is that you are generelizing and that is not right. Not every kid is doing that and not every parent is ignorant.

      BloodRiver - 2011-09-13 11:27

      Roll it out in the whole country, or better yet, the whole continent.

      MissGremlinSays - 2011-09-13 11:46

      Guys, I am not real thrilled about the way this was handled. The words crass and ham handed come to mind. However, we have a very real problem in our country, with girls and worme forming part of a cycle of poverty. Without a doubt, this could have been handled in a different way. But, at least SOMEONE in the government can see the problem and is prepared to act. Now, we need to refine the method.

      MissGremlinSays - 2011-09-13 11:47

      *Women, typo, so sorry.

      daaivark - 2011-09-13 12:55

      NOT someone in Govt, MissGremlin. Just some arbitrary health official at Dora Nginza. This is not govt policy.

      IC1 - 2011-09-13 14:47

      @MissGremlin: Why is it working in the EC? :)

      MissGremlinSays - 2011-09-13 15:21

      @ IC1. I don't know for certain that it IS working in the EC. I guess time will tell. At least someone (daaivark mentions her name) is trying to stem the flow of teenage pregancies. While her methods are unothodox, and perhaps she should have consulted the parents - she is at least making an effort. For those who are arguing that hormone injections are massively disruptive and harmful to a young girl's body - I would like to point out, that so is being pregnant when you are 10/11/12/13 massively disruptive and harmful to a growing body. Some girls are slightly more knowlageable than others, and know about abortion. Abortion clinics and hospitals are recording 4th and 5th return visits for successive abortions by the same girl. How many girls in the rural areas are dying in childbirth, because they are too young, and their pelvis has not sufficiently developed? How many girls are dying from back-street abortions gone wrong? How many girls will never complete their education, and will never find a well paying job as a result of their teenage mistake? It is not a perfect solution, but we don't live in a perfect world. Far from it.

  • Fred - 2011-09-13 09:54

    And where is Malema and the human rights watch?

      O-Kay - 2011-09-13 10:51

      What has this got to do with Malema??

      RogerRabbit - 2011-09-13 11:22

      The Youth League should be involved in matters like this, rather than things for the grown ups! Maybe it is because there are grown ups in the youth league that they are trying to debate grown up matters. What is the cut-off age for the Youth League?

      Nkalakatha - 2011-09-13 12:14

      @O-Kay: The Youth League it is their mandate in the first place..Remenber Mr Malema is the President of this League ??!!

      Tinkie - 2011-09-13 13:51

      I agree with RogerRabbit. THIS is the kind of thing that the ANCYL should be concentrating on instead of trying to invade other countries, etc! They should be working with the youth, encouraging them to stay in school, get a decent education, abstain from sex or at the very least pushing the use of contrasceptives, teaching them how to plant their own foods (especially due to high unemployment) and how to prepare themselves as responsible and self sufficient adults!!!! There is so much they could be doing for the youth instead of all the nonsense they are sprouting at the moment.

      O-Kay - 2011-09-13 13:52

      Are you people really going to bring the ANCYL into this... Goodness you really are more messed up than I thought!

      Fred - 2011-09-13 15:21

      OK< yes, these are problems that the YL should be dealing with, they also scream blue murder when their perceived rights are violated, the HLW are so busy commenting and making up stories that this was totally missed by them, unless in an emergency no medical treatment can be given to a child unless they have the childs and the parents go-ahead, neither the school nor the medical staff obtained any such thing, i.e. human rights violation.

  • SGL - 2011-09-13 09:57

    So what they are saying is it's ok for these young girls to be raped - they've prevented them from falling pregnant by rapists. WTF!!!!! How about teaching the young boys, teen boys and adult males to respect women!!!! How dare they do this to these children!!! Parents - SUE THE GOVERNMENT.

      Harvey - 2011-09-13 13:55

      Screw that, why should tax payers have to pay for their mistake. File criminal charges against those responsible.

  • Gibbonater - 2011-09-13 10:01

    This is being done because most of these girls are being preyed upon by members of their own families. These men know that their children are virgens and pure and they can therefore satisfy their lust with these young girls.

      PB - 2011-09-13 10:44

      Not forgetting the 'urban legent' of sex with virgins curing aids....

      O-Kay - 2011-09-13 10:51

      Perhaps SA could invest in a police force that is capable, and the death penalty, maybe then these girls could be the children they should be!

  • Fedup - 2011-09-13 10:02

    Um 10 year old, are they mad!!

  • Anonymous Thinker - 2011-09-13 10:17

    So instead of taking the time to educate these young girls on safe sex practices and abstinence they just give them birth control? Wtf!! - 2011-09-13 12:52

      Teaching a 10yr old girl or boy to have safe sex??? OMG.

  • Peter van Rensburg - 2011-09-13 10:19


  • Jimm636 - 2011-09-13 10:19

    why dont they inject the boys with something to kill their libido so that the girls dont get raped in the first place.

      daaivark - 2011-09-13 12:56

      Nice one Jimmy. EXCELLENT.

  • GypseyAnn - 2011-09-13 10:21

    Isn't this just amazing? Stop pregnancy, but condone promiscuity and the spread of HIV Aids!!! What is the world coming to?

      wv - 2011-09-13 12:17

      Not the world, this f*cked up country.

  • like2comment - 2011-09-13 10:23

    I am trying to decide if this is wrong or right! Permission from the parents should have been asked & the contraceptive given to girls only who have started menstration. On the other hand, if only more people would use contraceptive, there would be less orphans or newborns being dumped in toilets. There are pros and cons here

      Cindy - 2011-09-13 11:44

      What was done was unethical, illegal and unConstitutional...... no debate needed. The money should have been used to address the "cause of the disease" (poverty/education etc) not to try to ease the symptoms!

  • Ross - 2011-09-13 10:24

    This is definetely not Bantu Education.

  • scott - 2011-09-13 10:26

    I bet they dont even draw the idea from this thia Eastern Cape is possibly getting what it voted for?

  • Michelle - 2011-09-13 10:31

    WTF! Who died and made them the decision makers??

  • IC1 - 2011-09-13 10:31

    The parent are angry coz if the daughters get pregnant they can get grants, so by giving the birth control will be denying them pof a source of income, they should strike and toyi-toyi about this for sure

      daaivark - 2011-09-13 11:42

      Wow, you are one fixated individual.

      Pickle - 2011-09-13 12:19

      @daaivark, as stupid as his comment is, the sad reality is that there are actually parents who do this to get a grant.

      The Gecko - 2011-09-13 12:22

      Um, well, those contraceptives will be will out of those 10-year-olds' bodies by the time they hit puberty and are actually able to get pregnant, so that can't be what angered the parents.

      IC1 - 2011-09-13 12:50

      @Daaivark, and you are 1 sorry, naive, fool. Stick you head in the ground, lets see if the problem goes away.

      daaivark - 2011-09-13 12:58

      IC1, I prefer to keep my head up here. No need to go down there and talk to you, thanks.

      IC1 - 2011-09-13 13:25

      @Daaivark, geez you took that "holier than thou" pill again today it seems

      daaivark - 2011-09-13 15:00

      It's what I am. Tough. If that happens to be "holier" than you, it would be ironic, as I am not religious, but it does say a lot about you. Thanks then.

  • Mart - 2011-09-13 10:34

    This is not on. I fully support offering contraception to children from the age of 16. Prior to this age the old rule of corporal punishment as corrective action should be implemented by the parents. I also believe that parents must assume a measure of 'vicarious liability' for what they have let happen to their children at these schools. If you are not involved with the day to day happenings of your child's schhol, you may be partially to blame. The Ministers of Health and of Education are answerable to the parents for this and must taken to task.

      Mart - 2011-09-13 10:41

      I must also add the 'culture of entitlement' much espoused by youth organisations also has a case to answer. If we are to get radical but serious about teenage and unwanted pregnancies, we have to inform the youth that masturbation is actually a more than adequate alternative, if not better than sex with a partner. 'Penetration does not make you a man !'

      MissGremlinSays - 2011-09-13 11:00

      I hear you loud and clear, but girls are dropping out of school at the ages of 13 and 14 - some have 2 and three children by the time they are 17. Parental guidence is just not happening. Worse still, is the teachers in certain areas are barely capable of showing up for class, let alone giving guidence on birth control.

      Pickle - 2011-09-13 12:23

      So what happens when your 14 year old daughter falls pregnant from her molester or rapists child? I am not saying what these people did are right, not at all. But i would certainly consider putting my kids on a contraceptive. Your children's morals may be right in terms of upbringing but in this day and age, more and more children engage in sex at younger and younger ages. and most of the time they are forced to do so.

  • Caz - 2011-09-13 10:37

    I would do my nut if they had to do that to my Daughter!! I would sue the ass off the dept of education!!

  • Ingie - 2011-09-13 10:41


      O-Kay - 2011-09-13 10:45

      You are a moron!

      IC1 - 2011-09-13 10:58


      Ingie - 2011-09-13 11:19

      who you O-kay

  • Gk - 2011-09-13 10:52

    When this happened during apartheid,racism was blamed for it,now who do you blame if you cannot blame racism?

  • Jimmyfuse - 2011-09-13 10:59

    OMG!!!! what a cheek!!!!!!

  • Lesego - 2011-09-13 11:06

    I'm 21 and I'm on birth control injections and I must say its somthing that a 9 year old cannot handle at the moment because your body does go through a lot of cahnges and I dont think a pre-teenager would be ready for that .

  • motsokwi - 2011-09-13 11:07

    One of the illegal clinical research trials again? when will our people be informed? why do we allow such things to happen to our children? bloody (__O__)

  • meeeee - 2011-09-13 11:08

    so just kill the child's opportunity of having children in the future. these things can have harmful effects. they should first find out if these kids are sexually active. but if it was not forced I guess those who took the injections are. but if everyone got them then perhaps they were not at free will.

  • Darwinian - 2011-09-13 11:17

    Its is easy, sue the school, sue the Dept of Education. Assault happens in many ways

      Ingie - 2011-09-13 11:21

      Sue the govt fullstop..surely this is discussed by the Health Dept Leaders in their Parliamentary meetings. Did Zuma agree to this

  • Fredster69 - 2011-09-13 11:18

    GOOD, because children cannot think for themself, that is why they need parents/teachers. They at least do something about it

  • Cammybuu - 2011-09-13 11:20

    This is wrong.... You must allow these kids to be... They need the free housing and social grants for their kids...

  • Nomz - 2011-09-13 11:30

    Giving them the injection is like saying, now its alright to sleep around, at least you won't get pregnant. But it doesn't protcet them from HIV or STD's. And they are too young to be given those injections and the nurse should have know better then to give them the injection.

  • ProudMom - 2011-09-13 11:35

    I am all for introducing birth control at school, but only with consent of parents and only when girls reach puberty. The statitics for teen pregnancies is alarming. In the end it is going to be you and me that has to fork out more tax so that more benefits can be paid out. Many of the kids end up on the streets as the most of the young girls will not have the means to suppor their children. Though I am no fan of Malema, he stated some months ago that birth control should be introduced to our schools. I fully agree!

      DW - 2011-09-13 16:31

      Actually ProudMom, he told the youth to have more children for the revolution.

  • allows - 2011-09-13 11:37

    WTF? What is the world coming to? Are people going mad?

  • Nomz - 2011-09-13 11:37

    Giving them the injection is like saying, now its alright to sleep around, at least you won't get pregnant. But it doesn't protcet them from HIV or STD's. And they are too young to be given those injections and the nurse should have know better then to give them the injection.

  • Cindy - 2011-09-13 11:41

    If I'm not mistaken the people involved can be criminally charged (with assault), I suggest all the affected parents do so and explore an civil avenues as well.... bloody EC health dept has wasted millions and destroyed our hospitals but can find money for biological warfare on our vulnerable children!!!!!!!

  • SuperSurfer - 2011-09-13 11:53

    Hey zaatheist, you must be the biggest tjop on these discussions!!! Who crippled your world to be so damn negative over every single subject or comment?? If you do not have any good comments regarding Religion that you clearly have no clue about shut your trap about it, man you actually belong on the comic strip!!!

  • Bloedrivier - 2011-09-13 11:55

    Why, is Zuma visiting some time soon?

      BloodRiver - 2011-09-13 12:31


  • Durbsdude - 2011-09-13 12:05

    It's the only way to keep them from breeding. Keep up the sterling work.

      Dinti - 2011-09-13 14:14

      get a life you racist piece of trash

  • Kaapie - 2011-09-13 12:07

    @ Zaaateist.. who says circumcision is mutitilation.. Who says that Clitoral removal is practised in SA.

  • Stacey000 - 2011-09-13 12:09

    Black , White .. I dont give a dam but you dont just inject a child with the contraceptive pill! Totally BS!

      Pickle - 2011-09-13 12:30

      And you think the hormones in your children's happy meal doesn't do them harm.. pppffff it's a proven fact that children are developing at a younger age these days because of all the hormones and crap in their food. I don't see anything wrong with giving a child a contraceptive if they are at the age of being able to carry a child. What i don't agree with however is not having parents consent. That's just wrong. it's up to the parent to say yes or no at the end of the day.

  • Aleg - 2011-09-13 12:33

    This has been happening for a number of years. I worked with a lady whose daughter attended school which fell under the Nelson Mandela Bay district. District nurses would come around and all girls over the age of 9 would be given contraceptive injections. I, and the lady in question was very upset when this happened and she asked her brother, who was a doctor, to issue a letter that on health grounds, her daughter was not to be given the contraceptive injection in future. He wrote a letter to the relevant authorities, and her daughter was no longer given the injection, but then fell pregnant at 12. She left school to have the baby. In hindsight, was that the right decision?

  • vicky.liebenberg - 2011-09-13 12:48

    need parents permission to use contraceptive, dont need parents permission to have sex or an abortion. Wait sorry parents dont even have to know about the abortion? Self respect is out the door. I suppose they will have sex whenever they want, but it does help to educate them about sex, not just to give them condoms or no even worse inject them. Easy solution to a difficult problem. Rape is a real problem, now the girls suffer, looks like its the boys that needs a talk or two. NO punishment? Well then again, the boys have a great example. Ill just keep on raising my kids, and paying for other people's kids as they keep on populating. More kids to hang out a the robots or under the Mc Donald windows. I cant afford to send my kids to university but wait at least I have a home to live in and food on my table, because I planned my life and take other people in the country in consideration and dont expect them to look after me.

  • wishfulthinking - 2011-09-13 12:59

    Even the thick principal 'denied any knowledge' of forced birth control. Sounds like a typical, real hands on 'leeda'. These idiots must try their luck and touch my child without my consent - they will be very sorry. Not a threat, a promise.

  • Charlene Pretorius - 2011-09-13 13:04

    I agree that this was very wrong in terms of the age factor and consent by parents but overall I dont know why they didnt start this ages ago we would have had less teen pregnancy and abortions. All in all I think a good choice would have at least waited till the age of about 13 or 16 but in essence a good choice, this should be implemented in all schools. The girls can always stop the contraception when they are married and ready to take on the responsibility of parenthood. Sounds very mean but if we look at the poor babies that suffer as a result of teenage pregnancy this is a good thing those poor babies that are dumped in rubbish bins and buried alive dont deserve it. Good on you PE

  • Village Belle - 2011-09-13 13:30

    Where I come from, you don't even need contraceptives for teenages, let alone 'preteens'?It's disgusting to see that the government has resorted to such, parents need to step in more...involve their children so they don't have too much free time on their hands that make them want to procreate as such tender ages.

  • chana.steve - 2011-09-13 13:53

    Giving a minor a hormone injection, or any injection for that matter, without the expressed approval of the parent or legal gaurdian is illigal. We can argue whether it's right, or wrong, but at the end of the day, we live in a free country, therefore each parent should have the right to choose and if they choose to disallow their young children from getting the injection at 10, then so be it. If it were my daughter getting the injection at school, without my permission, or her signed consent, then I would be suing the health department right now.

  • DivaTash - 2011-09-13 14:30

    What the hell?

  • MojoBa - 2011-09-13 14:41

    I am really saddened by this article. What they did was most definitely wrong, but it just highlights our problem again. Children are having sex at that age and some get pregnant. Where does one start to solve this problem? Society as a whole needs to have a re-think about morals. There are so many black babies up for adoption and very few black people adopt babies (because their ancestors will apparantly be angry). A lot of coloured and white people do not want to adopt black babies. ALL SO SAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • BIBI - 2011-09-13 14:43

    Under 12 years... WOW

  • george60 - 2011-09-13 14:47

    Like giving each a 'blank cheque', go and do the thing, no to worry? Well on the other hand dicipline has been declared a cruel racist way of controlling people and done away with it. If you think hard about this practice its a case prevention is better than cure. Some alternative must be in place to curb this flood of teenage pregnacy.