HARARE, March 24 – The use of contraceptives has increased among women in Zimbabwe, particularly the pill, recent studies have shown.

The 2014 Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) which was launched last week in the capital shows that 67 per cent of women were using the pill, up from 51 per cent recorded during a 2010-11 survey.

Presenting the data at the launch of the 2014 MICS, Health and Child Care official Wilson Chirombe said the increase was as a result of educational tours which the government had carried out to raise awareness among women on the use of contraceptives.

“The majority of women are using contraceptives particularly the pill. It has become much popular between urban and rural women because it is much flexible and this has worked well for them in terms of child spacing and has less effect on their well being,” he said.

“However it must be acknowledged that some of them still need to be taught how to use these contraceptives, but we are happy with the progress made so far.”

Matebeleland South Province has the lowest rate of use of contraceptive with a mere 17.9 per cent.

United Nations Children’s Education Fund (Unicef) representative Dr Jane Muita said the 2014 MICS results demonstrated an improvement compared with the one carried out in 2009.

“But, as the MICS survey shows, since 2009, things have started to improve. The curve is bending, and it is bending towards progress. When we compare the situation in 2009, when the social services were in a
state of near collapse with where we are now, we can see a very clear change for the better,” she said.

Although there was improvement, Dr Muita, said the country still had challenges in delivering social services.
“Today, as we review and dissect the data, we should remind ourselves that we have won a number of battles but we have not yet won the war. We still have an unfinished agenda, social services still face numerous challenges,” she said.

The survey which was conducted between 2012 and 2014, was spearheaded by ZIMSTAT, Government Ministries, City of Harare Health Department, and development partners.