TRIPHASIL (an oral contraceptive), used by many Upper Highway women, has not been delivered to clinics around Durban since December and patients want answers.
According to residents, the unavailability of the pill has caused them a lot of stress because they don’t know what to do as some can’t afford to get it from the pharmacy.
Some also say that they have been accustomed to this pill and when they are “forced” to change to another, there are many side effects.
Angered at the non-delivery of the pill to her local clinic, Thobeka Ngwazi from KaGcwensa said it’s unacceptable that the pill is not available since December as it is causing a lot of unnecessary problems for her.
“I was offered the alternate of the injection, but after I started using that I was told that it’s also not available and I should go to the pharmacy to buy it. I don’t have the money to buy it and I am scared to fall pregnant. The department of health needs to give us answers as to why these contraceptives are not being delivered to the clinics,” explained Ngwazi.
Another irate Upper Highway woman,
Philile Ngcobo said that she was also forced to go on the injection but after she took it, noticed that her monthly cycle is irregular and that her blood pressure has increased as well.
“This sudden change of contraceptives is causing my body harm. The department is putting our health at risk instead of aiding to our needs. They need to keep us informed as to why the pill is not available. Is there some tender process gone wrong, or mismanagement of funds? We need answers,” Ngcobo said.
Waterfall clinic sister who could not be named, said that this pill was last delivered in December which has caused a lot of women stress as they prefer using it rather than other birth control options.
“Many of our patients feel the pill is much better to use because it’s much easier take and safer. They also feel that their bodies are now used to the pill and if they change it might damage them because some bodies rejected what you are not used to, also it might take a while for their bodies to get used to the new medication that they will take as an alternative choice,” explained the nurse. The nurse said that the non-availability of this pill has taken its toll to other women because they can’t afford to buy the medication from the pharmacy as they can’t afford it.
“Some have come back to complain that in the pharmacy they can’t sell them the pills because they don’t have a prescription from the doctor,” said the nurse.
“I don’t know what to tell these patients as we can only administer what is supplied to us. I ask that they be tolerant with us, we will try to offer them the best care as possible,” the nurse said. Department of Health spokesperson Hlongwane Agiza said that the Department is still investigating the incident.