35.5% of married women said they do not use contraceptives due to side effects
Although Uganda has made strides in improving the use of family planning services among women, Busoga sub-region still lags behind in the use of the methods, according to a survey.
The 2018 research, whose findings were released at a meeting of stakeholders at Source of the Nile Hotel in Jinja on Monday, was conducted by Makerere University School of Public Health (MUSPH) under the Performance Monitoring and Accountability (PMA) 2020.
It was done in conjunction with the ministry of health, supported by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics and the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health.
Findings showed that 32% of married women in Busoga were using a family planning method, while those using modern methods of family planning were 30%, which is below the national average of 36% while in the southwestern region, the number was at 41%.
"The region is one of the few that are lagging behind," the report said.
"Among the married women (30%) who are modern contraceptive users, almost 2 out of 3 choose short term methods like injectables and pills. Only one third choose long term methods that are more effective," the report noted.
According to the report, married women who said they do not use contraceptives due to side effects were 35.5% while those who said their husbands were opposed to the methods were 5%.
"There are also married women who reported that they do not think they are at risk of getting pregnant-45%. This could be because they think they have sex infrequently or their partners are not around most of the time," it added.
Associate Prof. Frederick Makumbi of MUSPH who led the research team noted that the difference in uptake of family planning services in Busoga in relation to other regions was partly due to socio-economic factors.
He urged leaders and all stakeholders in the area to promote the education of residents especially women so that they stay longer in school, which he noted delays the time at which they start bearing children.
Participants at the meeting who included district health officers (DHOs) FROM Busoga districts agreed to tackle family planning using a multi-sectoral approach and have it mainstreamed in all services.
They also vowed to use avenues such as community meetings, funerals and weddings to promote the intervention as well as increasing access to family planning services in health units and increasing male involvement for instance by selecting male champions.
Dr Aggrey Batesaaki, the Kamuli DHO reported that his district has already designated a special person in charge of family planning services and the results are so far encouraging.
According to Prof. Makumbi the survey was done in May 2018 in private and public service provision points while data was collected from 110 villages across the country.