Sun | Aug 20, 2017

No rush for contraceptives despite increased supplies in light of Zika threat - Family Planning Board

Published:Saturday | April 16, 2016 | 4:02 PM
In January the health ministry advised women to delay becoming pregnant for the next six to 12 months given the possible link between Zika and the brain defect microcephaly.

Sherine Williams, Gleaner Writer

The National Family Planning Board says the number of women seeking the contraceptives it offers has not increased despite the country being placed on high alert for the Zika virus.

In January the health ministry advised women to delay becoming pregnant for the next six to 12 months given the possible link between Zika and the brain defect microcephaly.

Outgoing chairman of the Family Planning Board, Dr Sandra Knight, says the board increased its procurement of contraceptives earlier this year after Jamaica confirmed its first Zika case.

However, despite the increase in contraceptives, Knight says the number of women accessing birth control has not increased significantly.

 

Outgoing chairman of the National Family planning Board Dr Sandra Knight

And despite the fact that Zika has been declared a world health emergency, Dr Knight says the Family Planning board isn't encouraging women to delay pregnancy because the Zika virus is not wide spread in Jamaica.

 

Outgoing chairman of the National Family planning Board Dr Sandra Knight

However, Knight says her organisation is prepared should women want to delay pregnancy to prevent microcephaly and other complications if Jamaica experiences a Zika virus outbreak.

Earlier this week, the US Centers for Disease Control confirmed that the Zika virus definitely causes microcephaly after evidence of the Zika virus was discovered in the brain tissue, spinal fluid and amniotic fluid of microcephaly babies.