The first national family planning conference in Uganda commenced today on 28-30 July 2014 in Serena Hotel, Kampala. This conference under the theme, “Accelerating social and economic transformation through universal access to voluntary Family Planning,” will be co-hosted by Ministry of Health in partnership with UNFPA in Uganda and a cross-section of stakeholders
The conference follows on the heels of a national family planning stakeholders meeting that took place in December 2013 in Kampala. Here, it was agreed that a follow-up process is organized to create a platform for dialogue and re-energize relevant government ministries, departments, policy makers, service providers and partner agencies to reposition family planning in national planning and development processes. This is in context of national processes geared towards transforming Uganda from a peasant to a modern and prosperous economy.
Family Planning Critical
Family planning is critical to individuals’ abilities to exercise reproductive rights, and other basic rights. Globally, there is renewed consensus that all countries should identify and remove all major barriers to the utilization of family planning services, as a means to individual development, and ultimately, to national development.
It is worth noting that in the last decade, Uganda’s modern Contraceptives Prevalence Rate (CPR) increased from 18 percent (UDHS, 2006) to 26 percent (UDHS 2011); and unmet need for Family planning decreased from 41 percent to 34 percent, in the same period. This would not have been possible without government leadership and partner’s involvement.
UK Family Planning Summit
The Family Planning Summit held in United Kingdom in July 2012 galvanized political will and financial support Uganda committed to increase budget for family planning by 30 percent; the change in the national reproductive health commodity distribution strategy opened up new possibilities to include the private sector in the public commodities distribution; and increased community mobilization created awareness to bring family planning services nearer to the people in the community.
Yet, there is need to galvanize this political will and action to ensure that it translates into actions that will make positive impact in the lives of individual woman and girls who wish to delay and stop child bearing but do not have the means and information to do so.
The commitments made by the government of Uganda and development partners need to be followed through. This National Family Planning Conference will therefore herald the beginning of a renewal of action to commitment towards making Family planning a priority in reducing maternal mortality and morbidity, hence contributing to accelerated social and economic transformation of Uganda.
DSW Uganda; participated in this National event through exhibition and facilitating three GeNext Youth Champions from Muvubuka Agunjuse, Nsangi youth club in Wakiso to participate in the Pre- Youth Family Planning Conference at Imperial Royale Hotel Kampala and the National Family Planning Conference at Serena Hotel.
The GeNext Uganda: “My Life, My Future!” project aims at empowering young people in Wakiso and Busia districts in Uganda to make informed choices about family planning and their SRH. It is a youth-focused project that works with youth-led DSW Youth Empowerment Centres (YECs), and the youth-focused partner organisation Reach a Hand Uganda (RAHU).