Uganda joined the rest of the world to commemorate the World Contraception Day on September 26, 2020. The theme for the day was ‘Let’s roll back the teenage pregnancy crisis in Uganda’.
Contraception awareness remains wanting because much as it is almost universal, with 99% knowing at least one contraceptive method or pregnancy prevention measure, 25% of adolescents aged 15-19 years have started child bearing and have already given birth or are pregnant with their first child while 28% of married women have an unmet need for family planning.
Uganda’s population is estimated at 37.7 million and slightly more than 50% is below the age of 15 years and two thirds is below the age of 24 years.
Marie Stopes UG, one of the largest and most specialized sexual and reproductive health organizations in Uganda has for the past 30 years provided approximately 60% of contraception in Uganda to Ugandan women, men and young people in the under-served communities, that are predominantly young, living in poverty, residing in hard-to-reach rural locations and urban slums.
Marie Stopes UG continues to use its expertise and research to provide technical assistance to national health strategies, which affect the lives of millions of women and youths in the country.
It also operates a public sector strengthening channel through which facility in charges and other public health workers are selected, trained and equipped to provide quality family planning services.
In Uganda, the contraceptive prevalence rate is 26% (UDHS 2016). 18% of married women use modern methods, while 6% use traditional methods. As expected, current contraceptive use is higher among sexually active, unmarried women (54%) than among married women (24%) and, in turn, among all women (20%).
The likely consequences of low CPR include rapid human population growth resulting in overpopulation, poverty, increased incidences of maternal and infant mortality.
Teopista Nalyazi Tendo, one of the team leaders of the Marie Stopes mobile teams that serve clients in remote areas across Uganda said the COVID – 19 pandemic affected their work greatly as they were unable to provide the family planning services as they were doing before.
However, “Together with the Village Health Teams (VHTs), we are able to sensitize the women and youth in various communities which has led many to come and access family planning services” Teopista added.
Marie Stopes continues to reach out to the women in different settings through a range of channels; the 32 mobile outreach teams serve clients in remote rural areas in every region of Uganda.
A network of 15 clinics situated in urban areas offer a wide range of sexual and reproductive health and family planning services. A network of 185 blue star clinics provide quality family planning services to the urban and peri urban communities through the sale of a subsidized vouchers.
“We also have 80 Marie Stopes ladies who are qualified midwives and nurses from the local community, these provide door to door services to clients in their homes providing high quality family planning services,” Teopista said.
Service providers like Marie Stopes also continue to provide high-quality, sexual and reproductive healthcare products for people in locations that are convenient.
The call center is a reliable source of anonymous and non-judgmental counseling, information, and referrals on all reproductive health issues.
The Marie Stopes UG toll free help line (0800220333) operates from 7:00 AM -10:00 PM during weekdays and 8:00AM -6:00 PM during weekends and public holidays.