Religious leaders want family planning to be directed to youths

By Alice Lubwama

The Uganda Muslim supreme council calls on stakeholders in the health sector to target family planning services to the youth since they are more sexually active and potential victims of early pregnancy.

While launching the family planning costed implementation plan for Iganga district,the 2nd deputy Mufti Uganda Muslim council Sheik Waiswa Muhammed Ali said that although as religious leaders do not encourage sex before marriage but the youth confront challenges unwillingly and it’s the reason why they need knowledge on family planning in order to over come them.

The family planning costed implementation plan is a commitment made by the leaders of the district to make a clear allocation and mobilization of funds for family planning services.

The initiative was developed by faith for family health initiative an NGO advocates for better health through faith in order to increase the funding for family planning services in the country , especially in districts with high fertility rates but with high levels of poverty

Speaking at the same function, the Chairperson of health committee of parliament Dr Micheal Bukenya asked the district council to scrutinize the sexual reproductive health policy recently developed by the ministry of health so that they can make bye-laws and ordinances to address issues such as early marriages and teenage pregnancies.

According to the assistant district health officer Iganga Baluka Anne Mary Iganga has 6-5% fertility rate compared to 5.4 % national fertility rate ,saying there is need to control it.

Despite the high fertility rate, the use of contraceptives in Iganga is 35 % compared to the national target of 50%

Religious leaders commit to lobby for more funds for family planning services

By Alice Lubwama

Representatives of faith based organizations in Uganda including Protestant, Muslim, catholic, Adventist and born again faith have further committed to lobby for more allocation of funds for family planning services also pledge to sensitize their congregation on manageable families for the nation to have a health population.

During a meeting to review Uganda’s progress on the 2020 national target to implement family planning programs to reach women, men, youth, and communities with voluntary high-quality services and information to meet their needs , the religious leaders agreed to lobby government and development partners to provide more funds in order to have orderly families.

The bishop of Mityana diocese Right Reverend Stephen Kazimba Mugalu also a family champion amongst religious leaders say he was grateful to see churches and other religious leaders realizing their mandate to save lives.

Bishop Kazimba has also asked fellow religious leaders to put family planning into right perspective by not misinterpreting the scripture in the bible of producing and filling the whole earth.

DR Betty kyadondo the director family health at the National population council says that the rate at which Uganda was progressing at increasing the modern contraceptive prevalence rate to 50% was good enough and she is optimistic that the country will met its targets.

Kyadodo however note that Uganda’s biggest challenge was reaching the adolescent girls to use family planning because they engage in sex and get pregnant frequently and also married off to men older than them and don’t support them to use family planning.

In 2012 Uganda’s prevalence rate Of use of modern contraceptive was at 28% but it has now increased to 36% .

The UN foundation through faith for family health NGO advocates for better health, has been supporting religious leaders to engage both the local and central government to allocation more funds for family planning services.

The advocacy has seen 8 districts I. Uganda also Ting a portion of their health budge to family planning services. The districts include Namayingo, Mubende, Busia, iganga,kyejnjojo, Kagadi,Kabarole,and Mityana.