Durban, July 29 :
A group of South African students to be flown to India for training at an Indian university are to be given contraceptive implants to prevent them becoming pregnant, media reported Tuesday.
“We will be injecting them with Implanon (matchstick-sized contraceptive implant) so they don’t fall pregnant,” Sibongiseni Dhlomo, member of the executive council (health) of KwaZulu-Natal province, told the students’ parents at a farewell dinner Monday night, the Independent Online reported.
The government of KwaZulu-Natal province has taken this drastic measure to avoid a repeat of the Cuban pregnancy scandal that embarrassed officials earlier this year.
Four students who were sent to Cuba for medical training had returned pregnant.
“We sent girls to Cuba and four have returned pregnant; it is the end of their career training with us,” Dhlomo said, telling the latest group: “Even if you are in or not in a relationship, we will inject you with Implanon before you leave.”
Of the 30 students to be trained in pharmaceutical and ultrasonography at Manipal University in Jaipur, 12 are female students.
The cost of the implant will be covered by the government as well as private sector sponsors, Rand Merchant Bank and the South African division of Indian pharmaceutical company Cipla.