Uganda set to promote modern contraceptives

Finance minister Matia Kasaija. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

  • Uganda’s population is expected to increase over the coming years as forecasted from 27.5 million in 2015 to 75.9 million in 2080. 

Uganda has signed a partnership with UNFPA to co-finance sexual and reproductive health commodities as a way to reduce unwanted pregnancies.

The compact implies that for every Shs 375,000 (100 dollars)  contributed by UNFPA towards the annual procurement of contraceptives, the government of Uganda will contribute Shs 3750 (1dollar).

While speaking at the signing of the agreement with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on Thursday, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija said the government is committed to invest in family planning as an intervention to address the unfavourable demographics profiles under Vision 2040.

“One of the ways of reducing the total fertility rate is by increased uptake of contraceptives,” he said, adding, “It’s, therefore, paramount that the government invests in the procurement of family contraceptives.”

The finance minister proceeded to note thus: “This will allow a small number of children per household, more freedom for women to participate in the national labour market and more households saving for old age.”

Uganda’s population is expected to increase over the coming years as forecasted from 27.5 million in 2015 to 75.9 million in 2080. 

The Uganda Demographic Health survey indicates that the modern concentrative prevalence rate increased from 18.2 percent in 2001 to 34.8 percent in 2016, and the unmet need for family planning reduced from 6.5 to 5.4 over the same period.

Dr Mary Otieno, the UNFPA representative, said: “About three of 10 women in Uganda, who avoid pregnancy, are not using modern contraceptives. They are left behind because formidable barriers to reproductive health continue to persist in matters of policy, finance, sociocultural norms, and strained health systems,  among others.”

She added: “Affordable, quality sexual and reproductive health services save and improve lives …strong partnerships—including government, donors, and UN agencies—can enhance the efficiency and impact for change.”

From 2023, all partner governments will be required to make a minimum domestic financing contribution towards the cost of commodities provided by UNFPA each year. 

This, Dr Otieno further revealed, will be based on the gross national income per capita.

In 1994, at an international conference on Population and Development in Cairo, the Ugandan government adopted a revolutionary programme of action and called for women’s reproductive health and rights to take centre stage in national and global development efforts.