Report: Men, myths hold back family planning

Sunday February 24 2019

Kampala. Violent husbands coupled with myths that create fear about the side effects of contraceptives to avoid unintended pregnancies, have contributed to the high number of child bearing by women, a new report released in Kampala at the weekend showed.
The report “Human Rights Implications of Inadequate Contraceptive Access and Use in Uganda”, indicates that the government is only able to meet 58 per cent of the total demand for modern methods of family planning.
“The unmet need for family planning has contributed to higher number of children than women in Uganda desire. On average, women have 6.2 per cent children even though they prefer to have only 4.5 per cent,” reads in part the new report authored by a civil society organisation, Center for Health, Human Rights and Development.
The research was conducted in the districts of Kampala, Buikwe, Manafwa, Soroti and Gulu.

Experience
The report highlights an ugly experience of a 32-year old woman (name withheld), who secretly used Implanon to delay getting pregnant for her third child.
She inserted the Implanon while her husband was away in the field. Upon his return, he noticed that she could not carry their baby.
“My husband said I did not seek his permission and that I intended to start sleeping around with other men,” she says.
About the myths that come alongside the use of the contraceptives, the young people interviewed believed that their use could make them infertile in future, while the married and unmarried women believed that they cause fibroids and cancer.
Dr Charles Kiggundu, a senior gynaecologist at Mulago National Referral Hospital, denied the same. “The myths of producing deformed children by mothers, who were on contraceptives is not true,” he said during the launch of the report in Kampala on Friday night.

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