Saturday, 4 October 2014

Family planning can avert 4,000 unsafe abortions, says expert,Drive Hot News


Front L-R: Junior Finance minister Matia Kasaija, MPs Matia Kasamba, Lulume Bayiga and Godfrey Kiwanda at the launch of the conference on family planning in Kampala on Thursday. 

KAMPALA. 
Access to family planning services can prevent the 4,360 unsafe abortions that occur in Uganda annually, a reproductive health expert has said.
Addressing parliamentarians from 10 African countries on Thursday, Dr Deepmala Mahla, the director of Marie Stopes, said access to family planning services will only be possible if clinical officers countrywide are trained to provide services which are currently dispensed by only doctors.
“World Health Organisation says one health worker should attend to 435 patients but in Uganda, one health worker provides services to 625 patients. The 2012 Human Resources Health report stated that 62 per cent of Ugandan doctor positions are vacant. This partly contributes to the unmet need we experience in the country. In terms of tubal litigation, training clinical officers will increase the provision of the service to women who opt for it, especially when doctors are not available,” Dr Mahla said.
However, she warned that only clinical officers, and not midwives, should offer this service because if they are adequately trained, they can handle the surgical method. 
She said lack of access to family planning by women who need them increases the number of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions.
Dr Joyce Mumah of the African Population and Health Research Centre argued that access alone is not enough and called for more interventions for socio-economic change.
She also said some women discontinue use of contraceptives because they provide wrong information to those who have never used it.
“Find out why they discontinued and if they can access other services instead of going off completely. It is this class of women who have the highest number of the unmet need hence the need to address this issue,” she added