BHF Newsroom

Jinja, Iganga to prioritize voluntary family planning

December 17, 2021 | By Busoga Health Forum

By Elizabeth Namara

Busoga Health Forum in partnership with Makerere University School of Public Health with the funding from John Templeton is implementing the Urban Thrive Project (UTP) to contribute to the reduction of unmet need and increased use of Voluntary Family Planning in urban settings. UTP is being implemented in Jinja City and Iganga Municipality in the Busoga sub-region of Eastern Uganda.

This will be done through the adaption of high impact practices (HIPS) in Family planning and developing and testing a tailored package of interventions to increase coverage and uptake of voluntary family planning services in emerging urban areas.

As acceptance and sustainability of any project requires participatory involvement of community and opinion leaders.

Busoga Health Forum (BHF) and Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) organized a three-day workshop to engage; the community members, adolescents, and health care providers, political and religious leaders in the co-design of the interventions in VFP.

The Co-design workshop is aimed at validating family planning needs / challenges and the most relevant solutions to address the need.

Mr. Moses Kyangwa, the BHF CEO noted: “Getting opinions from all categories involved is a great start to solving the issue of teenage pregnancy within Busoga and this will also help in finding a lasting solution to the vice in Uganda and other affected countries.”

Following the Outbreak of Covid-19 Pandemic, most countries went to total lockdown and Uganda was not exempted. Many sectors in Uganda were locked down to slow the spread of Covid-19 and these included the schools.

Previously, teenagers spent more time at school with minimal redundant time.

However, with the pandemic, so many teenagers were left with a lot of time at their exposure with less activities to engage in.

This increased idleness led most of them to engage in early sex which has increased the rate of teenage pregnancy.

According to a Ministry of Health report, Busoga is among the regions with high teenage pregnancy rates in Uganda.

While increasing coverage of voluntary family planning remains a major priority in Uganda, most of the women especially the teenagers are not empowered to make informed decisions when it comes to reproductive health.

 According to UDHS 2016, contraception use among all women is 29% and 37% among women in union with17% of all women and 24% of women in union having unmet need for Family planning. Teenage pregnancy stands at 25% and repeat adolescent births at 56%.

With the increasing urbanization, there is expected population growth and inequality among the haves and have nots.

This puts the lives of the under privileged women and young girls in more vulnerable situation of unwanted pregnancies.

The participants in the workshop were requested to join hands and encourage the uptake of voluntary family planning within their communities.

By Dorothy Akongo