Position: Medical Doctor, Deputy Chairperson
Organization: Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition of South Africa (SRJCZA)
Tlaleng Mofokeng-Maseko is Deputy Chairperson of the Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition of South Africa (SRJCZA) and runs a women’s health practice in Johannesburg. She is also a health educator, producing video blogs about sexual and reproductive health and presenting a regular sexual health radio show on Kaya FM. She has authored numerous articles on health topics and made several TV appearances, including as the host of two episodes of Al Jazeera’s global health series “The Cure.” She earned a medical degree from the Nelson Mandela School of Medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
“Founding Member of SRJCZA Presenting and co-producing a Sexual Health Web Series for HEAIDS Resident Doctor at one of the Big Radio Stations in S.A on Sexual Health (Kaya fm) Caused Media Stir Addressing local TV show promoting rape culture.”
– Nomtika Mjwana, Head: Media and Communications Subcomittee at Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.
I am a medical doctor and I run a private Reproductive clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. I produce video blogs dedicated to providing comprehensive information to enable people to make informed decisions about their fertility and plan better for their future fertility.
I am a facilitator and educator of the youth, LGBTIQ individuals, HIV positive people, discordant couples, sex workers on issues such as Consent, Understanding their own risks depending on the type of sex they are engaged in, How to use the male and female condom and extensive pre-contraceptive advise to empower for informed choices regarding suitable methods.
What sparked your passion for family planning?
Throughout my training to become a medical doctor, I enjoyed most the Family Medicine, Gynecology and Community projects. In medical school I set up the first youth friendly clinic in 2008 as part of my rural community project in Matatiele, Kwa-Zulu Natal. I spent 4 years post training working in government clinics were human resources and contraceptive options were limited. It made such a a difference to the women and girls in the communities to have the expert advice.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your family planning efforts, and what have you done to overcome it?
The biggest challenge in my setting is the lack of widespread, free and accessible methods beyond the injectable and oral pills. In my clinic I offer affordable methods including prescribing reversible long-term methods with the necessary pre-insertion counselling regarding effects on the body, hormones, side effects and what to do in case of any kind of complication or failure of contraceptive. I also continue to encourage the use of barrier contraceptive methods.
What is your (country/region/city)’s biggest challenge in family planning, and how can it be addressed?
Many school going and young women are continuing to face stigma, poor advise and poor management of side effects known and associated with contraceptives. There is also a lack of youth friendly clinics & trained staff in Reproductive health.
Provision of free, accessible reversible long-term methods so that girls & women can have effective ways of preventing unsupportable pregnancies.
I use social media, radio, TV, print, to educate people cross country I would normally not have access to.
What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years?
Collaborate with government to empower girls and women to know & understand their bodies and how contraceptives work. Demystify the menstrual cycle, debunk many myths around sexuality, menstruation and contraceptive use.
Encourage girls & women to use female condoms as a barrier method as they can ensure correct use and not be dependant on negotiating condom use by men. Healthy women & girls with bodily intergrity & who are in control of their fertility can reap the rewards of a modern world.