Health
Medics disagree on family planning for teens
Publish Date: Jan 09, 2014
Medics disagree on family planning for teens
Dr. Dorothy Balaba (right) consults a fellow health official during a meeting at Hotel Africana in Kampala. Photo by Francis Emorut
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Francis Emorut                                        

Health experts have disagreed on whether to offer family planning services to teenagers saying the latter need them to avoid abortion, pregnancy related cases and death.

“For us in medical ethics our motto is doing no harm. If an adolescent consents to the service and if she is sexually active go ahead and provide the service,” Dr. Dorothy Balaba, the country manager of Programme for Accessible Health Communication and Education said.

“It’s more helpful to prevent a girl from getting pregnant and performing abortion which may lead to losing her life,” she stated.

The country manager argued that Ministry of Health allows health providers to offer family planning methods to adolescents if they are doing no harm.

She explained that it is only if the young ones are sexually active.

Dr.Balaba was backed by Dr. Milly Kaggwa, the programme director of PACE who said there is need to give adolescents friendly reproductive health services to teenagers to help to curb abortion and prevent pregnancy related cases as well as death.

“After informed consent which an adolescent has asked for, go ahead and offer family planning services. You can’t send her back until she is 18 years of age,” she told health service providers and medical professionals.

The medics made remarks during Profam quarterly stakeholders meeting at Hotel Africana in Kampala.

They were specifically responding to questions what a health service provider should do when a 13-year old girl seeks family planning services.

To emphasise her point she invited the public and health providers who have not visited Mulago referral hospital to visit the facility and appreciate the gravity of a problem seeing 13-15-year old girls writhing in pain due to complications related to pregnancy.

“When you go to Mulago you will find a 15-year old girl having complications related to pregnancy,” Dr. Kaggwa said. 

But Dr. Micah Lopita of Family Nursing Home in Kamuli district disagreed with his fellow medics saying offering family planning services to the teenagers tantamount to breaking the law.

The law considers one a child if she/he is below 18 years.

Lopita pointed out that by giving family planning services to the young ones the health services providers would stand a risk of being accused of aiding defilement.

“What does the law say? Shall we not be accused of aiding defilement?” Lopita wondered.
 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Woman plans to end her life on November 1
A newlywed US woman with terminal cancer has announced plans online to end her life on November 1 to die with dignity....
Another Ugandan doctor dies of Ebola
Another Ugandan doctor, John Taban Dada, who has been a gynaecologist and surgeon, dies of Ebola in Liberia....
African MPs discuss family planning
Uganda''s state minister for primary healthcare has said women should have children by choice and not by chance....
Hospital security guard, cleaners treat patients
AHPC officials order a special inquiry into reports that unqualified staff treat patients at Lyantonde Government Hospital....
Failing sense of smell a strong predictor of death
A declining sense of smell in older people is a strong predictor of death within just five years, according to new research....
I usually envy my Muslim friends every after Ramadhan. This is because some of them come out of the holy month weighing up to 10kg lighter and others come out without their potbellies....
Was Oscar Pistorius' 5 year sentence fair and just?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter