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Gaborone

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Botswana / Gaborone
Gaborone, Botswana.jpg

OVERVIEW

Botswana has seen tremendous economic growth since its independence in 1966, which has also manifested into improved health care and family planning services. While the level of health care access varies in the country, the government has taken significant measures to improve contraceptive availability and HIV treatment. You can find a variety of contraceptive methods, such as birth control pills, IUDs, contraceptive implants, contraceptive injectables and contraceptive rings, but a prescription is typically prescribed. As contraceptive availability has improved in the country, Botswana has also seen a decreasing fertility rate over time. If you want emergency contraceptive pills (morning after pills), you'll typically need a prescription or you'll need to visit a family planning clinic. Regarding STIs, Botswana has one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the world. There are no travel restrictions related to HIV/AIDS, and there are many resources for accessing HIV tests, receiving HIV treatment, or obtaining counseling and community support. However, it should be stressed that HIV/AIDS is a major issue that Botswana has dealt with in the past and continues to deal with. Regarding menstrual products, you should be able to find pads/pantyliners, but costs may be high. Meanwhile, there are some Botswana-based sellers of menstrual cups, but you may find more options if you look online for international distributors. For new mothers, Botswana offers twelve weeks of maternity leave. Finally, abortion is permitted in Botswana only under certain circumstances, and it's not generally available upon request. If women can afford to do so, they often seek out abortions in South Africa.

Contraception (Birth Control)[edit]

General Note: There are many types of contraceptives, also known as "birth control," including IUDs, oral contraceptives, patches, shots, and condoms, etc. If you would like to view a full list, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Botswana, you need a prescription to obtain oral contraceptives (birth control pills).[1]

Since gaining independence in 1966, Botswana has experienced steady economic growth, largely due to its prosperous diamond industry. Consequently, the country has seen an expansion of its health care resources, including family planning methods. In 1984, family planning services began to be included in nearly all health facilities and, in 1989, the family planning logistics manual (contraceptive commodities and drugs) was developed. While only 16% of women in Botswana used any form of contraception in 1974, the rate increased to 40% by 1996 and 51% by 2007. Meanwhile, the use of traditional methods, such withdrawal or the rhythm method, decreased from 7.5% in 1984 to 2.6% in 2007. In 2015, it was found that 56.3% of women in Botswana (who were of reproductive age and married/in unions) used some form of contraception, and 16.8% of women had unmet family planning needs. The most common forms of contraception were found to be male condoms (35.8%), contraceptive injectables (7.3%), birth control pills (6.5%) and female sterilization (2.2%). Traditional methods, like the rhythm methods (1.1%) and withdrawal (0.4%), were not common. There were also low usage rates of IUDs (0.9%), vaginal barrier methods (0.6%) and implants (0.5%).[2] In 2016, two new contraceptive implants (Jadelle and Nexplanon) and the contraceptive ring (Nuvaring) were introduced into the Botswanan health market,[3] and health care providers were trained in their usage by the UNFPA. For this reason, there may be wider usage of contraceptive implants and rings than recorded in previous data.

As contraceptive methods have improved in Botswana, the fertility rate has declined. In 2017, the fertility rate in Botswana was 2.56 children born per woman. This was noticeably lower than fertility rates in 2000 (3.8 children per woman)[4] and especially since 1981 (7.1 births per woman),[5] indicating that women are gradually having less children and being exposed to more effective contraceptive methods. The lowest fertility rates are found in women who live in city or town areas and have a secondary or university education.

However, there is still much work to do to increase public awareness and access around contraceptives. There is no formal sex education in Botswana's school system,[6] aside from basic education related to HIV prevention and certain elements of family life. Furthermore, some women have stated that they do not use contraceptives due to disapproval from their husbands or partners, and there may be still be an expectation placed upon women to have larger families, particularly in rural areas.[7] For a report that includes suggestions to improve contraceptive usage in Botswana, click here.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Tip: Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services include help with family planning, contraception and infertility.
  • You should be able to find male condoms and potentially also female condoms in Botswana. In 2016, the UNFPA provided health care providers with 450,000 female condoms.[8]
  • You should be able to find oral contraceptives (birth control pills) in Botswana, such as Nordette.[9]
  • You should be able to find contraceptive injectables, such as Depo-Provera, in Botswana.[10]
  • You should be able to find IUDs in Botswana.[11]
  • You should be able to find contraceptive implants in Botswana. Typically, you'll find Jadelle (a progestin-only implant) and Implanon NXT (which has etonogestrel, a synthetic female hormone resembling progesterone)[12] in Botswana. In 2016, UNFPA supported the Ministry of Health in training some local health care providers in the handling of Jadelle implants.[13]
  • The vaginal ring (such as the Nuvaring) is available in Botswana,[14] [15] as of 2016, according to reports.

Costs[edit]

Emergency Contraception (Morning After Pill)[edit]

Important Notes: Emergency contraception may prevent pregnancy for three days (72 hours) and sometimes five days (120 hours) after unprotected sex. Take EC as soon as possible after unprotected sex. If you don't have access to dedicated EC, oral contraceptives can be used as replacement EC, but remember the following: 1) Only some contraceptives work as EC 2) Different contraceptives require different dosages and time schedules to work as EC 3) You must only use the first 21 pills in 28-day packs and 4) They may be less effective than dedicated EC. For general information on emergency contraceptives, click here and here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Botswana, you typically need a prescription to obtain emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs)[16] or you need to go to a family planning clinic.[17]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • In Botswana, you typically need a prescription to obtain emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs)[18] or you need to go to a family planning clinic.[19] The ECPs you can find in Botswana are Pregnon (a Levonorgestrel pill, which is produced in India and sold internationally)[20] and Revoke 1.5 (a Levonorgestrel pill that is produced in India and primarily sold in African nations).[21]

Costs[edit]

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs/STDs)[edit]

Important Notes - Learn about PEP and PrEP: If you think that you've been recently exposed to HIV (i.e. within 72 hours), seek out PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis). It's a month-long treatment to prevent HIV infection after exposure, and it may be available in your city. Take PEP as soon as possible. For more information, click here. If you are at risk of HIV exposure, seek out PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). It's a daily oral pill that can prevent HIV infection before exposure. To learn more about PrEP, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

From a legal standpoint, there are no travel restrictions related to HIV/AIDS in Botswana. This means that, if you're a foreigner who is planning to visit Botswana, you will not be asked for a medical certificate upon entry or be required to state your HIV status. However, if you plan to study in Botswana, you may be required to take an HIV test if you'll be enrolling as a student at the University of Botswana.[22]

Overall, Botswana has the third highest HIV rate in the world, with only Lesotho and Swaziland holding with higher rates. In 2016, 21.9% of adults in Botswana were living with HIV, and there were 10,000 new HIV infections per year. However, this is not to say that Botswana has neglected HIV treatment and resources. In fact, Botswana provides universal free antiretroviral treatment to people living with HIV, and it was the first country in the region to provide such services. This did lead to a decrease in HIV infection rates, but this is still much work to do. In 2016, it was found that 84% of infected adults and 60% of infected children were on antiretroviral treatment. According to AVERT, an international HIV/AIDS charity, "Botswana has a one-size-fits all approach to HIV prevention, but its lack of targeted services has meant that prevention programmes are reaching less than half of those most at risk."[23]

Testing Facilities[edit]

  • Tebelopele Voluntary Counseling and Testing Center: You should be able to get free, anonymous, same-day HIV tests at this testing center, and you may also be able to get antiretroviral treatments (ARVs). They also seem to have multiple locations throughout the country, so you should call them to find your local branch. The center was built as a collaborative effort between the Government of Botswana and the U.S. Government. Postal Address: PO Box 112, Gaborone, Botswana. Phone: +267 686 5043. Fax: +267 680 0086.

Support[edit]

  • AVERT Bostwana: This is an international HIV/AIDS charity. On this webpage, you can find information on the treatment and history of HIV in Botswana.
  • African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnerships (ACHAP): "ACHAP was established as a public-private community development partnership in 2000 to enhance and support Botswana’s HIV & AIDS response. Using a comprehensive approach, ACHAP has successfully supported HIV prevention, care and treatment in Botswana for more than 14 years with remarkable results." Address: Private Bag X033, Gaborone. Telephone: +267 369 7200. Fax: +267 393 3507. Email: info@achap.org
  • Botswana Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS: Address: Private Bag 351, Suite 269, Gaborone. Telephone: +267 3164926 / 3164927. Fax: +267 3164929. Email: info@bbca.org.bw.
  • Botswana Christian AIDS Intervention Programme (BOCAIP): "Botswana Christian AIDS Intervention Programme (BOCAIP) was registered in 1999 as a Non-Governmental Organization... Our mission in Botswana is to provide prevention, care and support, and advancement of Christian values to girls and boys, women and men infected and affected by HIV." National Office Address: Plot 3284, ext 12, Bontleng Close, PO Box 601963, Gaborone, Botswana. Telephone: +267 3916454. Fax: + 267 397 1820. Email: info@bocaip.org.bw
  • Botswana Network of AIDS Service Organisations (BONASO): Address: P O Box 3129 Gaborone, Botswana. Telephone: +267 3170582. Fax: +267 570582. Email: info@bonaso.org, bonaso@botsnet.bw
  • Botswana Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (BONEPWA+): "Founded in 2000, the Botswana Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS (BONEPWA+) is a national umbrella (non-governmental organization) network formed by and for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) in Botswana. BONEPWA+ has over 11 years experience of working with PLWHAs to ensure their voices are heard in Botswana through lobbying and advocating for their needs, rights and privileges." Address: PO Box 1599, Mogoditshane, Gaborone, Botswana. Telephone: +267 3906224. Fax: +267 3190977. Email: info@bonepwa.org.bw.
  • Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS - BONELA: "The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS is a non-governmental organisation committed to integrating an ethical, legal and human rights approach into Botswana’s response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic." Address: P O Box 402958, Gaborone. Telephone: +267 3932516. Fax: +267 3932517. Email: bonela@bonela.org, director@bonela.org
  • National AIDS Coordinating Agency (NACA): Address: Ministry of State President, P/Bag 00463 Gaborone. Telephone: +267 3710314. Fax: +267 3710313. Email: asknaca@gov.bw.

Costs[edit]

Medications & Vaccines[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • You can find Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in Botswana. To be placed on PrEP in Botswana, people should usually fill one of the following criteria: individuals who engage in high risk sexual behavior (FSW, MSM, transactional sex), HIV negative partner in discordant couples, discordant couples attempting to conceive, women or men who cannot negotiate safe sex with their partners, people who engage in multiple current sexual partnerships and IV Drug Users. To learn more information about PrEP access in Botswana, click here.
  • You can find Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) in Botswana. For example, the national PMTCT Programme, which was launched by the government of Botswana in 1999.[24]

Costs[edit]

Menstruation[edit]

Note: In addition to pads and tampons, you can also use menstrual cups and menstrual underwear for your period. To learn more about menstrual cups, click here. To learn more about menstrual underwear, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

You can find menstrual products in cities, like Gaborone, though they may be expensive for many women. Meanwhile, rural women in Botswana often struggle to access sanitary and comfortable menstrual hygiene methods. This is worsened by persistent water cuts at homes and schools, which sometimes prevents young girls from attending school all together when they're menstruating. To learn more about water cuts and menstrual hygiene issues in Botswana, click here.

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • While you can find pads/sanitary napkins in Botswana, the prices are high and difficult for many women to afford. This is partially due to the high duty rates for sanitary products, which may run up to 40% of the price.[25]
  • If you want to obtain menstrual cups, you can purchase Princess D Menstrual Cup - Botswana, which are a South African brand of menstrual cups that are distributed in Botswana. Furthermore, while we do not know of any stores that sell mainstream menstrual cup products (such as RubyCup, LadyCup, MoonCup, DivaCup, Lunette, etc) in Botswana, you may be able to find online sellers, which can deliver the menstrual cup to your address in Botswana, or you can find local sellers of menstrual cups in neighboring countries, such as South Africa.

Costs[edit]

Gynecological Exams[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Bokamaso Private Hospital: This 200-bed hospital has a pharmacy is a part of Lenmed, a South African hospital group that has facilities in South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique. For a list of ob/gyns at this hospital, click here. Physical Address: Plot 4769, Block 1, Mmopane, Along the Molepolole Road, Botswana. Tel: +267 369 4000. Fax: +267 369 4140. Email: info@lenmed.co.za
    • Recommended Gynecologist at Bokamoso: Dr. Suzanne Conopio. A local says: "She is very nice and patient." An examination should cost around around 500 pula. Phone. +267 369 4805
    • Recommended Gynecologist at Bokamoso: Dr I Layno. Recommended by a local. Phone: +267 369 4461
  • Princess Marina Hospital: This is a publicly-funded government hospital, established in 1966. "It predominantly serves the south of Botswana as a referral hospital but also functions as a district and primary hospital, though not by design." Mailing address: P.O. Box 258, Gaborone, Botswana. Tel: 362 1400

Costs[edit]

Pregnancy[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Botswana, mothers are entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave and, if there are special medical reasons, they are entitled to an additional two weeks of maternity leave. During maternity leave, the mother should receive no less than 50% of her base pay and benefits.[26] [27]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

Costs[edit]

Abortion[edit]

Important Note: There are two main types of abortions: medical (also known as the "abortion pill") and surgical (also known as "in-clinic"). For medical abortions, you take a pill to induce abortion. For surgical abortions, a procedure is performed to induce abortion. For general information about medical and surgical abortions, click here.

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

In Botswana, abortion is not available upon request. It only permitted in certain cases, which include: when the pregnancy endangers the physical or mental health of the woman, when there is severe risk of fetal impairment, or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.[28] [29] If someone illegally receives an abortion, they may be subject to up to seven years in prison.[30]

Until 1991, Botswana did not permit abortion, and exceptions to the law were not granted. However, beginning the 1980s, the government began to see increased challenges to its strict abortion policies, as there was a bigger spotlight based on the high maternal mortality and morbidity rates. Today, Botswana has rather liberal abortion laws compared to many other sub-Saharan African countries, but the laws still do not allow a huge percentage of women to receive safe and legal abortions.[31] For this reason, it's reportedly fairly common for women to travel to South Africa in order to receive legal abortions upon request. If women cannot afford to travel to South Africa, they may resort to clandestine abortion providers in Botswana, some of whom may provide unsafe or unsanitary conditions. The government of Botswana is concerned about the safety of these clandestine providers. While there is a movement to further liberalize abortion laws in Botswana, there are also a strong Christian-based lobby that aims to prevent full legalization.[32]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Womens Choice - Botswana: We cannot vouch for this place, and we're not even sure if it's operating in Botswana, but we found their information online, so we decided to include them. If anyone has any information on this clinic, please update this section. From the website: "We do medical abortion up to 9 weeks. Gives us a call and set up your appointment and then we shall help you quickly." Address: Zambesi and Touws, Botswana. Tel: 061 067 8310. Email: help@womens-choice.co.za
  • If you are considering leaving the country for an abortion, you can get a legal abortion in South Africa.

Costs[edit]

If you are pregnant and considering getting an abortion outside of Botswana, you will need to consider the following costs: transportation to the country where you will be obtaining an abortion, hotel or accommodation costs in that country, cost of the abortion in the country and the total amount of days you may need to be in the country both before and after the abortion.

Advocacy & Counseling[edit]

Laws & Social Stigmas[edit]

What to Get & Where to Get It[edit]

  • Ambulance: Call 997 (Toll Free)
  • Police: Call 999 (Toll Free)
  • Fire Brigade: Call 998 (Toll Free)
  • Medical Rescue: Call 911 (Toll Free)
  • Kagisano Society Women's Shelter (KSWS): "The Kagisano Society Women’s Shelter (KSWS) is a non-profit organisation which aims to raise awareness about gender-based violence in Botswana. It is the first and one of the only two shelters in Botswana that are a refuge for women survivors of Gender Based Violence and their children." Physical Address: Plot 6062/3 Extension 19 Broadhurst, Gaborone. Postal Address: Private Bag X046, Gaborone Botswana. Tel: +267 3907659. Mobile: +267 74 265 081. Fax number: +267 3908691.

Costs[edit]

List of Additional Resources[edit]

  • Click here to learn about LGBT laws in Botswana. Note that homosexuality is illegal in Botswana, as of February 2018.
  • Ministry Of Health & Wellness, Botswana: Address: Nelson Mandela Dr, Gaborone, Botswana. Phone: +267 363 2500.
  • Gender Links - Botswana: "Formed in March 2001, Gender Links (GL) is a Southern African NGO, headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa that promotes gender equality and justice..." Email: botsmanager@genderlinks.org.za
  • Men & Boys for Gender Equality: "A Botswana based NGO that engages men and boys to reduce gender inequalities, GBV, prevent HIV and promote health & well being of Women, Men and Children." Email: desmondlunga@gmail.com
  • MenEngage Botswana: "MenEngage Botswana is a network of NGOs that advocate around a number of key issues where gender directly affects the lives of women and men. The network was formed in September 2014 and is hosted by the office of Men and Boys for Gender Equality (MBGE)." Tel:
  • Botswana Council Of Refugees: Botswana
  • Botswana Council of Women: PO Box 339, Gaborone. Botswana
  • Ditsbwanelo (Human Rights Organization): Botswana
  • Emang Basadi Women's Association: Plot 1014, Boipelego Close, African Mall, Extension 2, Gabarone, Botswana, Postal address: Private Bag 00470, Gabarone, Botswana. Tel: (267) 309335/359424. Fax: (267) 309335
  • Metlhaetsile Women's Information Centre: Private Bag 42, Mochudi, Botswana. Tel: 377347. Fax: 314635.
  • National Institute of Development Research and Documentation (NIR) - Women and Gender Issues Section of the Documentation Centre: Private Bag UB 00708, Gaborone , Botswana. Tel: +267 355 2926. Fax: +267 357 573. E-mail: Rathapos@noka.ub.bw.
  • NGO Coalition-Botswana: C/O Worldview Foundation, Pvt. Bag 00306, Gaborone, Botswana. Tel: 351767. Fax: 357767, 352795.
  • University of Botswana Library Gender Collection: Private Bag 00390, Gaborone, Botswana. Tel: +267 355 2307. Fax: +267 300 644. E-mail: mbambob@noka.ub.bw
  • Women And Law Of Southern Africa Research Trust: Botswana
  • Women's Affairs Department - Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs: Private Bag 002, Gaborone, Botswana
  • Women Affairs Division - Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs: Private Bag 00185, Gaborone, Botswana, Tele: and Fax 267-309.222, Telex 2994 Homes BD
  • Worldview Botswana - Dilomakwati Private Bag 00366, Gaborone, Botswana, Tel: (267) 357767, Fax: (267) 357767.
  • Young Women Christian Association Botswana (YWCA): P.O.Box 359, Gaborone, Botswana.

References[edit]

  1. Global Oral Contraception Availability
  2. [http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/family/trendsContraceptiveUse2015Report.pdf Trends in Contraceptive Use Worldwide 2015]
  3. MINISTRY OF HEALTH INTRODUCES 2 NEW CONTRACEPTIVES
  4. Fertility Rates, Botswana
  5. Reproductive Health at a Glance: Botswana
  6. Youth Reproductive and Sexual Health in Botswana
  7. Reproductive Health at a Glance: Botswana
  8. Botswana introduces contraceptive implants
  9. Princeton EC Website
  10. REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA: Botswana Family Planning General Policy Guidelines and Services Standards - Revised September 1994
  11. REPUBLIC OF BOTSWANA: Botswana Family Planning General Policy Guidelines and Services Standards - Revised September 1994
  12. Botswana: Ministry of Health Introduces New Contraceptives
  13. Botswana introduces contraceptive implants
  14. Botswana: Ministry of Health Introduces New Contraceptives
  15. MINISTRY OF HEALTH INTRODUCES 2 NEW CONTRACEPTIVES
  16. EC Status and Availability: Botswana
  17. Princeton EC Website
  18. EC Status and Availability: Botswana
  19. Princeton EC Website
  20. EC Status and Availability: Pregnon
  21. EC Status and Availability: Revoke 1.5
  22. BOTSWANA - REGULATIONS ON ENTRY, STAY AND RESIDENCE FOR PLHIV
  23. HIV AND AIDS IN BOTSWANA
  24. Kweneng District Council: PMTCT
  25. [https://www.pseau.org/outils/ouvrages/fsg_an_opportunity_to_address_menstrual_health_and_gender_equity_2016.pdf An Opportunity to Address Menstrual Health and Gender Equity - 2016]
  26. Africa Legislation: Leave Types
  27. MyWage - Bostwana: Maternity Leave
  28. Botswana - Women on Waves
  29. World Abortion Laws Map
  30. Government of Botswana: Unsafe Abortions
  31. UN Report: Abortion Laws - Botswana
  32. Abortion Clinics Target Botswana