At a breakfast meeting organized by Makerere school of Public Health at Serena Hotel on 17th August 2017, information was disseminated on the PMA2020 round 5 survey findings on Family Planning Services. The survey is conducted using questionnaires to households, health services and women. The survey results show an increase in uptake of Family Planning services in Uganda with the Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) for all women aged 15 to 49 years increased from 28.6 in 2015 to 31.1 in 2016 and 32.3% in 2017. Meanwhile that for married women increased from 34.3% in 2015 to 36.9% in 2016 and 38.4% in 2017.
However, the research also indicated that the proportion of female users counseling on side effects was still low at 57.5% in 2017 having declined from 61.7%in 2016 and 59.3% in 2015.
There should be renewed effort to manage side effects among users of Family Planning. Concerns about side effects affect women’s satisfaction and use of modern contraception. Therefore, if the client reports side effects, the provider should listen to her concerns, give her advice and if appropriate, treat. In addition to ensuring that pregnant clients are not started on Family Planning methods (except condoms), counseling about side effects is the most important help clients need to continue using any method. It is also important to rule out pregnancy and abortion in clients who complain about side effects since none of the Family Planning methods offers 100 % protection against pregnancy yet therapeutic actions of some hormonal Family Planning methods mimic pregnancy. Appropriately managing side effects will therefore improve on use of contraceptives in Uganda.
Recently, the Uganda Ministry of Health published a pocket guide on managing common side effects in Family Planning users. The guide refers to side effects as unwanted reactions which may occur due to use of a Family Planning method. According to the guide, different family planning methods will have different side effects but in most cases, these normally subside after a few months. See pocket guide on managing side effects of Family Planning – Pocket guide managing side effects of Family Planning .
According to Dr Betty Kyaddondo of National Population Council, there ought to be change in communication strategy if players resisting women to per take family planning services are to come onboard. She also observed that if girls are provided with enough Family planning information, there will be a steady increase in the uptake of contraceptives. Meanwhile, Professor Mirembe Florence advised for more specialists at district level with attention to the Northern and Eastern regions of Uganda.
For more information about the PMA2020 data research, visit https://pma2020.org/pma2020-data