Reach A hand Uganda and partners launch Men Plus 11 and U Decide Kasese-Bunyangabu projects |

reaching out a hand uganda and partners seek to increase access to modern family planning information and services, with a focus on increasing male participation through the MenPlus II project and improving access to information and family planning services through the U Decide Kasese-Bunyangabu project in target communities over the next 3 years.

July 7, 2022 marked the launch of these two innovative Family Planning projects by the Minister of State Gender, Labor and Social Development Hon. Peace Mutuzo. Reach a Hand Uganda and its partners (Reproductive Health Uganda and Marie Stopes Uganda), alongside representatives of Parliament, including Bunyangabu Regional MP Hon. Kamukama Davis and the Ministry of Health attended the launch of the Men Plus II and U Decide Kasese Bunyangabu projects. MenPlus aims to bring men to the forefront of family planning as users, champions and agents. Men have vasectomy as the method of choice if they have reached their desired family size, but can also encourage their partners to use modern family planning methods. This project currently focuses on 7 neighborhoods including; Kampala (KMP), Mbarara, Arua, Lira, Bushenyi, Rwampara and Soroti.

Humpfrey Nabimanya, CEO Reach A hand Uganda at the launch of the campaign recently

The U Decide project in Kasese and Bunyangabu districts focuses on improving access to family planning services using the community-based approach where CHWs and peer educators meet the short-term family planning needs of clients in the community and only make referrals for long-term or permanent methods to health centers. The project will support 24 public health facilities in the two districts contributing to the strengthening of health systems through training, mentoring of health workers and provision of equipment for better service delivery. .

In his opening address, Mr. James Tumusiime, the country director of Reach A Hand Uganda spoke about the first phase of the #MenplusUG project which was informed by one of RAHU’s intergenerational dialogues where young girls and young women boldly revealed the challenges they face with men who have otherwise had the desired family size being responsible for several unplanned pregnancies in young girls sometimes leading to unsafe abortions.

This has spawned a male-centered agenda that promotes the uptake of family planning services by putting men first and addressing the SRHR challenges Ugandans face. The first phase of this program resulted in 345 vasectomies among other methods, showing that it is possible that men too can use a permanent method of family planning.

The Minister of Gender, Labor and Social Development Hon. Peace Mutuuzo, who was the main guest, encouraged implementing partners to work within existing structures in communities to provide accurate information on family planning services.

She also highlighted the high rate of rape cases in the country, which needs to be addressed urgently as it results in a high number of teenage pregnancies. She emphasized partnerships and collaborations, especially between ministries, to promote family planning. Family planning is not only a health issue but also a gender issue and therefore it is necessary to act together if we are to achieve economic transformation. The Minister stressed the need to tackle cultural and religious barriers and to use a myriad of approaches and channels to reach people with this information, but also to use the lessons learned from the first phase of the implementation implementation of the project. The minister emphasized integration with HIV prevention, but also guarding against politicizing development issues like family planning. She also called on development partners to support the people of Bunyangabu who are devastated by the increase in cancers and schistosomiasis.

Minister of State for Gender, Labor and Social Development, Hon. Peace Mutuzo (standing in the middle), Reach A hand CEO Humphrey Nabimanya in a group photo with other members.

Dr. Francis Ndamaje, the regional representative of the Bergstrom Foundation, urged all partners to continue to collaborate with stakeholders, especially the Ministry of Health in managing stockouts and mentoring more surgeons who provide permanent methods. He asked the Department of Health to review the proposed task shifting to allow non-surgeons to perform permanent method procedures.

The Deputy Commissioner for Reproductive and Child Health in the Ministry of Health, Dr Richard Mugahi, urged partners to use certified service providers to avoid mistakes that could lead to future legal issues, including proper consent processes for clients.

The Assistant Commissioner urged all partners and other stakeholders present at the launch to continue to raise awareness by providing accurate information.

He urged implementation teams to link family planning issues with economic development due to the current state of the country’s economy. He tasked partners and the Ministry of Health to develop talking points on family planning so lawmakers have more FP champions in parliament. He stressed the need to unite efforts to reintegrate teenage mothers into school and work to prevent “teenage double pregnancies” if the first was a mistake, then efforts must be made to prevent the second. to give girls a chance to pursue their careers.

Partners were encouraged to be innovative in presenting messages when providing family planning information. He stressed that the involvement of men should be deliberate and integrate other health issues like HIV, antenatal care, safe childbirth and this can be done by using the men’s action groups in the different sub – counties of implementation districts because family planning cannot exist in isolation.

The launch was also attended by a satisfied user and father of 12 from Mukono district who shared his story on how and why he made the choice to have a vasectomy. He mentioned his wife’s support in promoting this method of family planning. He pledged to continue supporting the goal of the project by telling more men about the benefits of having a vasectomy.

Hon Peace Mutuzo, along with other senior government officials and implementing partners of these projects, officially launched the MenPlusII and U Decide Kasese-Bunyangabo projects from the Fairway Hotel Kampala, and Reach a Hand Uganda is ready for the implementation, increasing uptake and reducing the unmet need for family planning services in the country.

Uganda’s population continues to grow, despite efforts by the government, civil society and community organizations to reduce fertility rates, including promoting access to and use of modern family planning services throughout the country. The population of Uganda increased by 2.7% compared to the year 2021 and increased by 3.02% between 2020 and 2021 1 .

Family planning is one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century 2 and the availability and use of contraceptives, is a tool with which women can realize their rights to health, education, autonomy and personal decision-making over the number and timing of childbearing , making it an effective strategy in pursuing the sexuality of young girls and women. and reproductive rights, addressing vulnerability by socio-economic classification, which is increased by family size and the resulting dependency ratio.

Access to family planning information and services averts infant and maternal mortality by preventing unintended pregnancies, thus improving maternal and child health indicators, family planning also reduces the need for abortions (especially long-term abortions). risk).

Investing in a diverse range of family planning methods, including short-acting, long-acting, and permanent methods, lowers the cost per couple years of protection (YYP) and results in greater savings per YYP in the cost of the basic services of the combination of national methods. Although there has been an improvement in the contraceptive prevalence rate, the unmet need for services among currently married women aged 15-49 is 28% which is high and even higher at 32% among sexually active unmarried women according to the Uganda Demographic Health Survey 2016.



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