Reducing Fertility in Poor Countries a Huge Priority to Wealthy Westerners

New injection is provided for reducing fertility in poorest countries.

Uniject

Recently I posted about a massacre in India where many women were killed by non-hygienic sterilizations. Women are bribed for a pittance to give up any chance of future children.

I couldn’t help but think again about this story when I read the report from BBC that there is a new way to get women to become infertile for a three month period: “The one dollar contraceptive set to make family planning easier.”

The special device, with a smaller needle and no traditional syringe, will be sold at just $1 a unit.

An agreement – signed in the past few days – will make the new way of giving contraceptive injections available to women in 69 of the world’s poorest countries.

The deal has been reached between the Gates Foundation, the drug company Pfizer and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.

Previously the technology has been used for giving hepatitis B jabs in Indonesia. Burkina Faso was the first country to use it for contraception.

Soré Néimatou, 20, has a boyfriend, and is visiting a family planning clinic in the capital Ouagadougou.

“I don’t want to get pregnant,” she says. “I want to get married first.”

She has never used contraception before, and is given a choice of methods. She opts for the new injection – called Sayana Press.

The pre-packaged device means there is no need for health workers to prepare a syringe.

Thanks to the design, which is called Uniject, there is no risk of spillages or dosing errors, and because the device cannot be re-used, it cuts out the risk of infection due to needle-sharing.

This is all interesting, but what about STDs? This does nothing for them, and, if it encourages sexual activity, could result in increasing STDs. I’m also curious what long range studies have been done about effects on women’s fertility after a long period of use. If women get eight shots—one every three months for two years—are her chances of conceiving in any way diminished when she decides to stop the injections in order to have children?

According to BBC:

The launch comes after many years of work at Path, the organization behind the design of the device – and money from international donors.

So presumably we have money coming from mostly white wealthy people and governments going to help people in mostly brown countries to stop having so many babies. Does no one detect a possible problem here?

Injectable contraceptives are a widely-used family planning method among women in developing countries, where the lifetime risk for death due to a maternal cause can be as high as one in 15.

So reducing the number of pregnancies is the only way to deal with this number. Are these countries spending so much money to stop pregnancies doing as much to provide safer and healthier care for pregnant mothers and safer deliveries?

The BBC report is accompanied by the claim from the World Health Organization that “slowing population growth” is a benefit of such devices.

Unsustainable population growth results in negative impacts on the economy, environment, and national and regional development efforts.

It is completely untrue that we are experiencing “unsustainable population growth.” What we have right now is unsustainable reduction in reproduction. Our increase in population is scheduled to flatline at about 2150. We need to be encouraging healthy population growth if we want economic prosperity.