More women use the traditional birth control method, the Pill, in Zimbabwe than any other contraceptive, a government survey revealed.
Nearly 70 per cent of married women or those in some form of union reported current use of contraceptives, according to the latest Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey by the Zimbabwe Statistical Agency, Zimstat.
“The most commonly used method was the pill (43.9%), followed by injectables, which accounted for 9 per cent. About 8 per cent of married women reported using implants and 3.3 per cent were using the male condom. Thirty-three per cent of married women were not using any form of contraception. The unmet need for contraception in Zimbabwe was 10.4 per cent,” Zimstat said.
Low use of the female condom is attributed to poor manufacturing of the available variety, with women complaining that it was difficult to use and emitted a bad smell. Religion is blamed for preventing women from using artificial methods of contraception. Some government leaders, including the country’s Catholic president Robert Mugabe discourage the population from using birth control, instead urging citizens to be “fruitful and multiply”. Other government leaders have also encouraged young people as young as 12 to get married.
The survey showed that a quarter of women had begun child bearing before reaching the age of 19. Mashonaland Central province was the worst affected by child marriages.
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