REPORT: The Performance Monitoring for Action 2022 survey report has revealed that 46% of Pregnancies in the Central/Buganda region are unintended.
This was revealed during the Buganda Regional Family Planning dialogue and survey dissemination held last week on Thursday at Zebra Hotel in Masaka city, organized by Makerere School of Public Health.
The Performance Monitoring for Action 2022 survey conducted between September-October 2022 in the 15 regions of Uganda by Makerere School of Public Health together with Partners like National Population Council, Pathfinder, USAID, the Ministry of Health and National Medial Stores indicated that 415,000 abortions are made annually in Uganda of which 96% are unsafe because they don’t access Family Planning services.
Dr. Simon Peter Kibira, a senior Lecturer at Makerere School of Public Health and Co-Principal Investigator at PMA said 6.5% of women between 15-49 years use traditional methods of Family planning, 41.4% use any method and 3.5% use modern methods of Family planning as indicated in the survey results. He said the best method of family planning is Education to reduce percentages of Adolescents having sex before 15years
In North and South Buganda region, 54.5% married women use all methods of Family planning, 41.7% use modern methods and 12.8% use traditional methods. 4 in 10 of the most recent pregnancies within 5 years in Buganda were unintended
Dr. Richard Mugahi, the Assistant Commissioner in charge of Reproductive and Infant Health at the Ministry of Health said Family planning and population Management are equally concerned by all stakeholders including Political, religious and Cultural leaders. FP should be tackled as a development issue to achieve the National Development Plan III.
The 2022 Research by Performance Action Monitoring at Makerere School of Public Health indicates that;
1. 61% of most recent pregnancies in adolescents were Unintended.
2. 15% Adolescents who use contraception choose emergency contraception.
3. 23% of adolescents with no education or primary as highest level, have ever given birth or are currently pregnant.
4. 13% of adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 with no education or primary as highest attended have had sex before the age of 15.
5. Over 40% of adolescent unintended pregnancies end up inducing abortions.
6. Over 25% of these die from induced abortion complications
7. Abortion related complications are the leading cause of DEATH among 14-19 year old females
Dr. Mugahi said timely spacing of children for a healthy family is another way of talking about family planning.
“Family Planning is not a medical issue and should not only be handled by medics. Family planning is about children by choice not by chance. That’s why 25% of women die because of abortion cases. The reason why homosexuality cases have risen is because the population lacks sex education. We need to jointly do business unusual, engage even bodaboda cyclists and all stakeholders to change our communities.” Dr. Mugahi said.
According to the survey report, Teenage pregnancy rates (TRPs) in North and South Buganda are stagnant for the last three years. In North Buganda TPRs were highest in Kassanda and Kayunga district at 16%. In South Buganda TPR was highest in Lyantonde with 15%, Gomba and Butambala at 14%.
Different stakeholders who attended the Buganda region dialogue in Masaka like District Health Facility In-charges, political, religious, technical and cultural leaders proposed that Uganda needs a compulsory family planning(FP) policy for mothers of a certain identified category and Mothers also need postpartum FP policy and strengthened in Health Facilities
In the Plenary discussion, stakeholders also proposed that Parliament should discuss Family planning and determine the number of children a family should have.
However, Mr. John Ampeire the National Programme Officer at National Population Council advised that there is need to respect Human Rights as we agitate for a family planning policy since Ugandans have a reproductive choice but every family need to have number of children they take good care of.
Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Katabazi, Masaka Diocesan Medical Director said there is need for Family planning awareness programs in Buganda region as its implemented by USAID in Rakai district to lower the number of people accessing traditional birth methods
Gilbert Ayebare, Regional pharmacist at National Medical stores said they face logistical and financial challenges which also affect Family Planning commodity distribution, but they have tried to get closer to the Health facilities.
He asked District Health Officers to always provide accurate Data for proper planning in procurement.
Performance Monitoring Action (PMA) Uganda collects nationally representative data on knowledge, practice, and coverage of family planning services in 141 enumeration areas selected using a multi-stage stratified cluster design with urban-rural and region strata.
PMA Uganda is led by Makerere University school of Public Health at the College of health Sciences (Mak/CHS/MakSPH), in collaboration with the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and the Ministry of Health.
The Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) is a leading public health institution in Uganda and within the East and Central Africa region, and is one of the four Schools under Makerere University’s College of Health Sciences. PMA project is led by Principal Investigator Dr. Fredrick Makumbi and Co-Principal Investigator Dr. Simon Peter Kibira.