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Brazil Offers Free and Heavily Subsidized Birth-Control Pills and Vasectomy

Brazilian woman takes birth-control pill

Brazilian woman takes birth-control pill Brazilian President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, launched this Monday, May 28, the National Policy on Family Planning. Among the measures contemplated by the plan of action are cheap birth-control pills and the inclusion of free vasectomy among the surgical procedures that are covered by the National Policy on Elective Surgeries.

The program was created in 2004 to reduce the line of patients who need surgery for cataract, hernia and varicose veins.

Thanks to the new program, birth-control pills will be sold with up to 90% discount in pharmacies and drugstores authorized by the federal government's Popular Pharmacy Program. According to Brazilian Health Minister, José Gomes Temporão, a contraceptive pack will cost between R$ 0.30 and R$ 0.40 (about 15 to 20 cents).

The low price is only possible because the federal government will subsidize the price. Contraceptives will be offered initially in 3,500 locations. The target, according to Temporão, is to increase the number of locations to 10,000 till the end of the year. No prescription will be needed. Anyone with an Identity Card can get the pill.

The existing government program, which offers  free birth-control pills through the Unified Health System's health stations will increase the number of contraceptive pills it hands out every year from 20 million packs to 50 million. The offer of injectable ampoules will grow from 1.2 million to 4.3 million.

The government has budgeted 100 million reais (about US$ 50 million) for the program, which includes an education campaign on family planning. 

The Lula administration waited for the pope to leave – pope Benedictus XVI visited the country earlier this month – before  announcing the new measures. Pope Benedictus XVI urged Brazilian catholics to be chaste within and outside marriage and insisted that life should be respected from conception until death.

For Lula, the new measures will allow that poor families also can decide how many children they wish to have and at the time thew want them, as the middle class does it today.

"We have to make a policy for all, but protect those who are poorer and it is this part of the population that doesn't get in cash or in education what the middle class gets. When they merry they plan the children they want to have and when they want them."

According to the president the new family planning program is a compensation to these poorer families and represents "a quality leap on the role Brazilian state needs to carry out."

Lula asked the scientific community and doctors to support the new plan in order for it to have positive results. He wants the society to see this move as more than just a government effort: 

"If it seems that this is a program from the Brazilian society, then each one of you can feel like a health minister, can feel like a women's affair secretary, so that we can demand action not only from the government, but also from ourselves, daily."

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  • ch.c.

    Typical of Lula promises and announcements…..with big fanfare !
    It was all the same for the free distribution of condoms ! Yesssss 1 billion the first year and even 1,5 billion the second year !
    Correct ?
    Just another promise from Lula never ever delivered…as usual.

    It doesnt come from me but directly from:the Brazilian Ministry of Health, a good source I must suppose !!!!!

    “[Jan 12, 2007]
    The Brazilian Ministry of Health does not have the capacity to reach its goal of distributing one billion condoms annually as part of a campaign to fight the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in the country, Mariangela Simao, coordinator of the National Program to Combat HIV/AIDS, said in a statement on Wednesday, DPA/Monsters and Critics reports (DPA/Monsters and Critics, 1/10). According to Simao, the government in October 2005 sought funding from the World Bank for the purchase of one billion condoms, but that funding was not approved until October 2006. Simao also said that the government does not “have the conditions to review the quality of such a large number of condoms,” adding that federal agencies are able to inspect 60 to 80 million condoms monthly, EFE News Service reports. In addition, Simao said that there are some internal problems with the campaign, including delays in deliveries of condoms and failures of companies contracted to provide the condoms to pass quality control tests. According to Simao, the health ministry hopes to distribute 500 million condoms this year, up from 251 million in 2005 and 253.7 million in 2006. As a result of the campaign’s setbacks, the government has not announced its plan for distributing condoms during Carnival, the country’s annual festival, which begins on Feb. 17. The health ministry distributed 20 million condoms during the 2006 Carnival — almost twice as many as 2005 — and carried out a widespread HIV/AIDS awareness campaign, EFE News reports (EFE News Service, 1/10).”

    A similar promise was made for vaccines against cattle deseases. In 2005 the budget for cattles sanitation was Reals 160 millions..
    In october the FMD appeared. First your government accused Paraguay, then the Brazilian farmers, and finally your government accepted the blame…publicly !!!!! Yessssss out of the 160 millions Reals voted and budgeted…only 30 millions were freed between January and November !!!!! Ohhh of course they also assured that ALL OF the 160 millions Reals….were freed and spent…..FIRST !!!!

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