UNFPA and China provide reproductive health commodities to sustain critical sexual and reproductive health needs in Botswana
01 February 2023
The Government of China, together with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Botswana Country Office, handed over health supplies.
The Government of China, together with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Botswana Country Office, handed over health supplies critical for upholding the sexual and reproductive health of women and girls in Botswana to the Ministry of Health on January 27, 2022.
The project, funded by the China International Development Cooperation Agency (CIDCA), under the framework of the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund, serves to contribute to the prevention, control, and response to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure the continuity and availability of sexual reproductive services and commodities in emergencies. This is the second such donation to the Botswana government, following the first in August 2021.
In his remarks, the Chinese Ambassador in Botswana His Excellency Wang Xuefeng said the donation demonstrates the continued commitment by the Chinese government to partnering with the Botswana government and UNFPA to ensure the continuity of safe and quality medical services for all, as well as the sexual and reproductive health of women and girls.
"I want to mention, in particular, that among this batch of donations, the reproductive health products will benefit an estimated 87,000 adolescent girls and young women of reproductive age who continue to face negative sexual and reproductive health issues. By helping adolescent girls and young women to prevent unintended pregnancies, HIV, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), we could empower women, ensure that girls remain in school, increase women’s participation in economic activities, and ultimately reduce poverty among these vulnerable groups," said Mr. Xuefeng.
Receiving the donation on behalf of his ministry, health minister Hon. Dr. Edwin Dikoloti thanked UNFPA and the Chinese government for their fruitful collaboration in addressing Botswana's gaps and unmet needs in the area of family planning.
"This donation will no doubt ensure access to modern contraceptives for many of our people. We are indeed deeply grateful for this kind gesture, and I assure you that the commodities will truly go a long way in helping empower our people, especially women, on matters of reproductive health," he said.
UNFPA's Head of Office, Ms. Tlangelani Shilubane, reiterated UNFPA’s commitment to support the government in addressing the challenges in the health sector, particularly stock-outs of health commodities, and to strengthen mutual trust and coordination in concerted efforts to ensure a healthy and prosperous future for Botswana. She said strengthening the health sector is one of the key priorities of UNFPA.
"We are committed to working with national partners to ensure that shelves are kept stocked with reproductive health commodities and that no woman or girl walks away empty-handed from their local clinic and risks contracting HIV and other STIs, having an unintended pregnancy, or worse, dying in childbirth due to a lack of medicines to stop heavy bleeding or treat an infection."
The donated commodities consisted of contraceptive tablets, emergency contraceptive pills, isolation gowns, examination gloves, surgical gloves, surgical masks, goggles, face shields, and coveralls.
Women often lack the power to decide when or how often they become pregnant without contraception. This can limit their education, delay their entry into employment, and reduce their earnings. This limits the ability for women, their families, and their wider community to build a better life.