Uganda yesterday Thursday 15th, 2018 scooped the international award for outstanding leadership in promoting and making available family planning services to women and girls who need it.
Health Minister, Dr Ruth Acieng received the 2018 country Excellence in Leadership Award on behalf of Uganda, at the closing ceremony of a four-day International Conference on Family Planning, in the Rwanda capital, Kigali.
“As a country, we have come a long way in advancing family planning since the 2012 Family Planning summit in London,” said Dr Acieng.
Uganda made ambitious commitments at the London summit in 2012 to make family planning services available to 50 percent of women and girls who need contraceptives by 2030.
“I thank all Ugandans for ensuring that we reach this stage but I would also like to say a lot needs to be done to achieve our target,” Dr Acieng said amidst ululations and dancing from tens of Ugandans gathered at the Kigali Conference Centre main auditorium.
Lana Dakan, Packard Foundation Program Officer also announced five other winners. Bukinafaso, that also won the country Excellence Award for having the highest modern contraceptive rate in West Africa, and its minister for health Dr Nicolas Meda, won the Individual Award for promoting family planning and spearheading the FP2020 commitments. Save the Children took the organisation Excellence Award.
According to the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) progress report, released this week on Monday, Uganda has made impressive progress on making available family planning services since 2012.
The number of women using modern methods of contraception in Uganda increased by 1,076,000, bringing the total number of women now using modern methods of contraception to 2,790,000.
The report entitled FP2020: catalyzing collaboration puts domestic government allocation to reproductive health at UGX8.3 billion in 2016.
According to the report, modern contraception use among women in Uganda has been growing at the rate of 1 percent annually since 2012. The growth rate is however higher among married women or women in union, at 1.3 percent annually.
The report on family planning in the world’s 69 poorest countries shows that as a result of increased used of family planning in Uganda, in 2018; 1,036,000 unintended pregnancies were prevented, 228,000 unsafe abortions averted and 2500 mothers saved from dying.
However, Uganda faces a huge challenge of making available contraception. In 2012, it promised to allocate $5 million to procure family planning commodities annually.
However, government has not procured contraceptives for the last two financial years. However, government has promised to release $5million this financial year.