Women’s health services available at all our clinics
Make the arrival of Spring the start of a new season for your health. Make use of the all-inclusive services offered at Western Cape Government Health’s facilities, without hesitation. We call on women to talk to healthcare workers about their needs. Which family planning method do you prefer? Is your pregnancy a crisis? Has your baby missed an immunisation? Our staff is there to assist you in every phase of your life.
“You always have a choice,” says Ms Philbe Nieuwenhuizen, a social worker at a Western Cape Government Health facility in the Cape Winelands. “There are women who are struggling and do not know where to turn,” she says in reference to women who are pregnant, but realise they cannot raise the child. At healthcare facilities you can expect support by experts like Nieuwenhuizen, nurses, mental health staff, and more. Drawing on the expertise of staff from different professions enables us to provide you with comprehensive services that are in line with South African legislation.
Some of the most prominent services our clinics offer, include:
- Information about your body, self-care and protection from sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy
- Contraceptives that you can rely on for the long-term
- Access to emergency contraception (to be taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex)
- Free pregnancy tests
- Information and support during your pregnancy, the birth, early childhood
- Information and support about options like terminating a pregnancy and adoption
- Support to moms with young children (e.g. nutrition and immunisation)
Seek support early on
The sooner you confirm your pregnancy the better you can plan. Arrangements can be made about follow-up visits so that Mom and Baby stay healthy. Information and counselling is also available if you choose to terminate the pregnancy. Staff are specifically trained to support you in this regard and a number of our facilities are recognised as facilities where pregnancies can be terminated.
If women do not seek help at a Western Cape Government Health facility it can happen that she risks her life by going for a ‘back street abortion’ or that the child is abandoned. We are working with partners to ensure that instances like these are reduced.
“Pregnancy can be a crisis for a women. Maybe she feels she cannot care for the child, or she is in an abusive relationship. There can be many reasons,” says Ms Marietjie Bezuidenhout of NorSA, a non-governmental organisation that is registered to facilitate adoptions. As part of the process all parties have access to counselling – an element that is missing when a child is abandoned. If an abandoned child is found and adopted, the parents will not have essential information to share with the child. This can cause the child to experience a sense of loss. You can also be charged for child abandonment. “Adoption is a gift to people who are ready to be parents,” she says.
Take the first step by visiting your clinic where you can access confidential consultation sessions so you can be informed and you can prioritise your well-being and that of your family.
Who can you call for help?
- Your local clinic
- Department of Social Development: 0800 220 250 or 021 483 5045
- Cape Town Child Welfare Society: 021 638 3127
- NoRSA: 021 873 5636