Anaemic women must be informed of pregnancy complications, says MMA

Orang Asli representatives have complained government health officers have forced their women to take injections and birth control medication.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Medical Association today said it is vital for healthcare providers to inform anaemic women of complications during pregnancy in the wake of allegations that Orang Asli women were given birth control pills without proper information.

Yesterday, Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said that birth control medication was meant to reduce pregnancy complications linked to anaemia.

He said it was part of an intervention programme as it is important for women with anaemia to avoid pregnancy. He also said that the medication was given “out of a sense of responsibility”.

Dzulkelfy said this after five representatives from Orang Asli villages submitted a memorandum to the government claiming, among others, that Orang Asli women had been given birth control pills without proper information.

They demanded that the government stop this practice.

Dr N Ganabaskaran.

They also alleged that government health officers had forced the women in their community to take injections and birth control medication.

MMA president Dr N Ganabaskaran said choosing to have children was a universal human right.

“However, if a person is at risk of complications during pregnancy due to a medical condition, they must be given proper advice by those responsible for their care,” he said in a statement.

Ganabaskaran also urged the authorities to investigate these claims, which are serious.

“Sufficient proof must be produced and if these claims are found to be true, appropriate action must be swiftly taken.”