Friday March 9 2018

Slum dwellers demand family planning services

A resident undergoes medical checkup during

A resident undergoes medical checkup during a family planning outreach organised by KCCA and Jhpiego, an NGO, in Kawempe Division, Kampala, on Wednesday. PHOTO BY MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI 


Kampala- Until Wednesday, Ms Rose Namirembe Rose, 22, a resident of Bwaise III Zone in Kawempe Division, has always been shy to inquire about family planning because she was discouraged by her friends.

However, following a family planning outreach organised by KCCA and Jhpiego, a non-governmental organisation, in Kawempe on Wednesday, her fears to produce many children ceased.

“I don’t want to produce many children because I have to start up a business that will enable me to look after the children. My friends used to tell me not to try family planning, saying it is bad and I took their advice because I had not sought the truth from a health expert,” she said.

Ms Namirembe, a mother of one, revealed that at the outreach, she took a family planning dose that will expire after three years before she conceives, adding that her husband is aware.

“Most women in these slums don’t know about family planning. I ask government to start extending these services to slum areas to contain child birth,” she said. Her call was reiterated by several women who attended the outreach.

The outreach is part of Challenge Initiative, a one-year project aimed at popularising family planning in Kampala slums. According to KCCA statistics, at least 60 per cent of city residents live in slums.

Dr Allan Katabalwa Ssemakula, the project director, said they partnered with KCCA following the dire situation in which city slum dwellers give birth to many children despite having limited resources to cater for them.

“We realised that majority of people staying in slum areas are not aware of birth control methods, but we believe that with this one year period, a difference will be made,” he said.

Dr Isaiah Chebot, the Kawempe Division medical officer, said majority of health facilities in the city are privately owned, which slum dwellers cannot afford.