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S.African primary school injects girls with contraceptive

Published on 15/09/2011

A primary school in the South African city of Port Elizabeth has given girls a contraceptive injection to prevent early pregnancies, a spokesman said Thursday, infuriating parents.

A spokesman for the provincial health department said 18 girls at the Emzomncane primary school were involved in a programme meant to educate students about the dangers of early pregnancy.

“Three kids were under the age of 12,” he said, adding that all the girls given the contraceptive were already sexually active.

They were treated by a family planning programme from a local hospital, which the school had invited to speak with the students, he added.

The Herald newspaper said parents had only been informed that their children would be taught about menstruation and birth control.

“My concern is what effect this will have on my daughter because she hasn’t even started menstruating,” said Nandipha Ngalo, whose 11-year-old received an injection.

South African girls have a right to contraception without their parents’ consent from age 12, said Ann Skelton, of the Centre for Child Law at the University of Pretoria.

The health ministry said in March that girls aged 12 to 17 were most at risk of rape, in a country where the charity Doctors Without Borders says a women is violated every 26 seconds.