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Myths, side effects discourage Mayuge teenagers from birth control

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Teenage mothers in Mayuge district have shunned away birth control methods over myths attached to family planning services.

Speaking to URN during one of  Marie Stopes reproductive health outreaches activities at Bukatube health center III on Thursday, several teenage mothers said that most women who have enrolled for the services experience frequent headaches and irregular monthly periods. These claims have discouraged them from seeking the services.

The two day outreach campaign is aimed at sensitizing adolescents on the role of family planning in the control of teenage pregnancies within their communities.

Older women have also been sensitized on the advantages of having manageable families which they can easily fend for even in the absence of husbands.

16 year old Sania Naigaga, a resident of Bukaleeba village says that she enrolled on injectable programs for a period of one year while at the age of 14 but faced frequent headaches, prompting her to opt out of the service.

Jessica Kirabira, aged 15 years says that before conceiving late last year, her parents convinced her to enroll for family planning services but was discouraged by the health workers who spelt out the side effects of contraceptives without providing remedies to overcome them.

Mary Adikin, a resident of Bukatube village says that she abandoned family planning methods after bleeding for close to seven months.

Angelina Nabwire, a resident of Bufuta B village says that her boyfriend discouraged her from embracing family planning services on assumption that they cause infertility.

Nabwire adds that health officials should sensitize the men on the advantages of family planning services as it will help to end the myths attached to them.

Sharminah Kauma, from the ministry of health’s department on health promotion, education and communication says that they have drafted plans of engaging both the religious and political leaders to sensitize the communities on the importance of family planning services. This is hoped it will bridge the information gap which seems to be discouraging couples from embracing it.

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