Condoms and morning after pills should be available in schools, UK's NICE instructs

By Camille H, Parent Herald March 26, 12:28 pm

Condoms and morning after pills should be freely available to teenage girls via their schools, the UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence's (NICE) has instructed.

The new guidance, directed at curbing unwanted pregnancy, would make both these, as well as intrauterine devices (IUDs), accessible in colleges and clubs as well.

According to NICE, qualified and authorized school nurses and pharmacists should be given the ability to provide free emergency contraceptive pills in accordance with patient group directions (PGDs), which allow health workers to supply a medicine directly to a patient without any prescription.

In doing so, NICE renewed its 2010 call for young people to be given emergency contraception, which they can keep and use at home whenever necessary. In the same manner, young women should be openly informed of the places where they can obtain free, confidential pregnancy tests that may give them results on the same day, the organization said.

"Health professionals, including pharmacists, who are unwilling or unable to provide emergency contraception should give young women details of their local services where they can be seen urgently," the guidance said, according to the Daily Mail.

Mike Kelly, director of the center for public health at NICE, said it is important that sexual health services offering information and advice can be found in locations where young people have easy access to them.

"Evidence clearly shows that availability of contraception reduces the rate of unwanted pregnancies. Local planners and providers of services must make sure that what they offer is right for their area," he said.

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