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Contraceptives dispensed haphazardly in Uganda – Study

Contraceptive pills

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A new study has shown that 43% of health workers in facilities offering contraceptives are not qualified. Consequently, most women don’t even get to know why a method is picked for them, nor what disadvantages may arise from using it.

The study was conducted between September and October, 2020 among 2,389 female clients. It was directed by the Performance Monitoring for Action- PMA, a project that implements survey designs to generate country specific data needs and explore underlying factors of contraceptive use.

The researchers say when they asked the female clients whether they knew the advantages and disadvantages of the contraceptives they had got, half of them didn’t know and forty-six percent had not obtained the method they wanted whereas five percent were not satisfied with the services they had received.

The clients were interviewed immediately following their health facility visit to obtain family planning counselling or services.

The findings come as part of the country’s aims to meet the ambitious goal of reducing unmet needs for family planning to 10% and increase the use of modern contraceptive methods.

Dr. Richard Mugahi, Assistant Commissioner Health Service Reproductive& Infant health said the study has confirmed an unmet need of people coming to health facilities but don’t get the method of family planning and the services they need.

The study established that a quarter of facilities that offer implants and intrauterine devices-IUDs do not have a trained provider and supplies for insertion. Recent studies report a significant increase in intrauterine devices use to 3.8%.

Mugahi said the Ministry of Health is committed to reduce this issue through targeted interventions of ensuring that supplies are available to the service providers and more training’s of health workers are carried out in the coming five years.

The study also revealed that adolescent girls are least likely to have received family planning information from a health provider or community health worker, but Dr. Fredrick Makumbi from Makerere University School of Public Health said many have had unwanted pregnancies due to lack of guidance from health workers on how to correctly use the methods they look out for and resources.

Dr. Jotham Musinguzi, Director General National Medical Stores Board said they are intensifying the role in using very good data and evidence to effect well focused family planning.

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