Reproductive health and family planning services are the right of every woman living everywhere and should be easily accessible to all women. However, for majority of women in Uganda – especially the rural woman – access to reproductive health and family planning information and services is a challenge.
The African Women Leaders Network for Reproductive Health and family planning is a collective of women leaders from across the continent who are passionate about issues of reproductive health and family planning for women and girls and ho are committed to working with African governments and other partners to ensure that the reproductive health needs of African women are addressed in decision making, policy and legislative arenas as well as service provision. In Uganda, five AWLN members, in partnership with Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU),have joined forces to implement advocacy activities in Mityana and Nebbi districts to encourage the districts to allocate more resources from the County budgets towards reproductive health and family planning. Their ultimate goal is to see at least ten percent of locally generated revenues channelled towards family planning activities by July 2015.
The advocacy activities will be rolled out from March 3rd and will consist of a series of advocacy meetings between AWLN members and identified policy makers at the district level.
According to the Ugandan Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) 90 out of one thousand children under five years of age die each year. Maternal mortality has hit sky-rocketing levels at 438 women dying for every 100,000 live births. This means that sixteen women (more than a mini-van full) lose their lives daily through childbirth. The reasons for this are high-risk births; too early, too frequent, too many and too late.
The Uganda Demographic Household Survey (2011) indicates that “forty-four percent of currently married women with secondary or more education are using a contraceptive method”, which is a stark comparison to uneducated women(only 18 percent are using a contraceptive method).Teenage pregnancy rates lie at twenty five percent of teenage girls. The majority of these pregnancies are unwanted, leading to induced abortions and associated complications which are often fatal.
By prioritizing family planning – through fund allocation and availing services and supplies -uptake will increase. Unmet need for family planning would decline and the numbers of women dying from childbirth would ultimately be slashed.