Increasing uptake of Long-Acting and Permanent Contraceptive Methods among Marginalized Women in Uganda

IPPF Africa Region Sexual reproductive health and rights

Maka is a satisfied family planning (FP) user from Uganda. She is a mother of eight children living in a polygamous home shared with three co-wives who are raising a total of 23 children in the household. She has been struggling to take care of her eight children with no financial support from her husband. She heard about FP by Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) Village Health Teams (VHTs) who are trained by WISH humanitarian partner International Rescue Commission, (IRC) and was referred to Koro Health Centre III for further information and services. Maka received comprehensive counselling after which she made an informed choice and settled for tubal ligation.

During a home follow-up visit, Maka expressed her satisfaction with the tubal ligation and had not experienced any side effects. She is now a promoter of long acting and permanent FP methods in the community.

WISH programme has been working with satisfied users to increase uptake of long acting and permanent methods to poor and marginalised women in Uganda. Incorporating satisfied users in sexual and reproductive health and rights programs is critical because other potential FP users trust them. Satisfied users are working with VHTs and service providers to provide community awareness and dispel myths and misconceptions about FP. They identify potential users of FP and accompany them to the health facilities where they receive comprehensive counselling to enable them to make informed choices on their desired methods of contraception. The IRC has also strengthened the capacity of health workers through training, values clarification and attitude transformation and provides FP commodities to facilities to ensure all FP methods are available on request at the health facilities.

Maka reported that she is now able to concentrate on her business which she uses to support her family. She is now a member of a women's savings group and has gained greater credibility among her peers. She can now take good care of her children and pay for their educational needs.

Between March 2021 and May 2021, Koro Health Centre III served 14 clients with IUD, 109 implants and 2 with tubal ligation. Out of these, nine clients were identified and referred by Maka to the facility.

Featured photo: a team of service providers from Koro HC III during a follow-up home visit to Madam Maka Woko.

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