According to the health ministry, teenage pregnancy in Uganda is still high at 25%, despite various interventions
Sibenaler (second Left) and Aceng (second right) leave after the conference
The Government is to scale-up access to family planning services up to at least 50% by 2020 as one way of improving the quality of the Ugandan population and reducing unwanted pregnancies.
Speaking during the second National Family Planning Conference at Kampala Serena Hotel, Jane Aceng, the health minister, said the Government is committed to scaling-up family planning programmes to create demand, especially in hard to reach areas
“The ministry plans to increase the accessibility of modern contraceptives up to 50% and reduce the unmet need for contraceptives in our vision 2020 to 10% from 34%,” Aceng said
According to the health ministry, teenage pregnancy in Uganda is staggeringly still high at 25%, despite the various interventions by the Government and various stakeholders.
The 2011 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey, indicates that more than four in 10 births are unplanned. This is partly attributed to a high unmet access family planning gap, in which three in every 10 women do not access family planning.
“We shall use community health extension workers to help access those that are not accessing services due to geographical, economic and social barriers,”Aceng said.
Some of the birth control methods include use of condoms, diaphragm, contraceptive pills, implants, IUDs (intrauterine devices), sterilisation and the morning after pill.
The two-day conference was held under the theme “Universal access to family planning for healthier and empowered communities towards social communities towards social and economic development”
Alain Sibenaler, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) country representative, said the theme is pertinent for Uganda as it looks towards attaining middle-income status.
“Access to voluntary family planning is a human right and is one of the most critically important investments that we could make in health, in women’s rights and in the life trajectories of young people,” Sibenaler said
He noted that with access to appropriate information and services, young people can truly plan for schooling, work and childbearing on their terms.
“When women access contraceptives they become empowered to have fewer children and start families later in life, giving them an opportunity to complete school, earn a better living and escape the trap of poverty,” Sibenaler said.
The conference was attended by various stakeholders including LCV chairpersons, Members of Parliament, district health officers and other development partners.