By Alice Lubwama
Senior Inter faith leaders from Mityana have committed to work with the district local government leaders to truck the integrated family planning funds up to the intended user.
They made the commitment during a multi stakeholder’s dialogue organized by faith for family health initiative discussing the expenditure and accountability of the family planning funds.
During the same meeting the district health officer Dr Fred Lwasampijja observed that although Mityana District was the first to develop the family planning costed implementation plan in the country, it has been difficult to determine the amount of funds allocated to family planning provision because the district has no clear family planning budget line.
Lwasampijja is also concerned with the delay and reduced disbursement of funds for health budget from the central government to the district which has led to stock outs resulting to decreased uptake of family planning services.
Reverend Moses Ssemugooma of Mityana diocese says that as religious leaders they will continue engaging the policy makers and donors to ensure prompt and timely disbursement of the health budget.
Ssemugooma also has asked the district leadership to determine the percentage of the health budget which should go to family planning to facilitate transparency and accountability.
“There is need to advocate for better health services because, 17 percent of girls in the district are getting pregnant and the cases of abortion are alarming so we need to do something to save the situation, Ssemugooma noted.
Sheikh Abdalla katongole of the Uganda Muslim supreme council said that the drop in family planning allocation has greatly impacted on the family planning provision, yet the number of teenage pregnancies has highly gone up due to the fact that children are not at school.` `Although we encourage children to abstain from sex but many of them especially those between 12 to 18 years are getting pregnant because they have engaged in different activities while at home, for a long period.
Sheik katogole asks the policy makers to think of ways how children can go back to school because they are more safe there than at home.
katongole add that as religious leaders, they will work with the medical personnel in Mityana district to develop messages for the communities on the advantages and disadvantages of family planning so that they make informed decisions.