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UGANDA: MALE INVOLVEMENT SHOULD BE KEY FOR SUCCESSFUL FAMILY PLANNING RESULTS-IN 100 YEARS WHAT WILL HAPPEN?

 

By Aidah Babirye Nakanjako

Leaders in the Lango sub-region have stressed that the main reason why the different family
planning initiatives in the region are not effective is that men are not involved.

Young Girls teenage report by Uganda Public Health says there is drop in early pregeancy among young girls, however during COVID-19 pandemic young photo with her baby is result of early teenage

“Men perceive Family Planning a “women's issue” yet they are in capacity to co-create more
than women” says Grace Atim, Lira District Health Educator.

Men are partly responsible for the reproductive health issues suffered by their female partners
and their involvement helps not only in accepting the use of Family Planning methods
sustainably.
According to Atim, the use of Family planning helps families resolve about how and when to
have children to allow for better spaced, planned for and health children.

George Ongom, Lango Cultural Foundation (LCF) Minister for Elderly and Youth says there are
misconceptions and myths about men using family planning, like condoms and male sterilization
(vasectomy). This comes as a result of not involving men, poor message dissemination from
cultural, religious and political leaders in Lango sub region.

Ongom adds that there have been cases where men actually hinder their wives from accessing
different facilities for family planning due to the myths and misconception which haven’t been
addressed to the core. Ongom says there is a need for involving men so that the message reaches
them and is embraced. He says the different stakeholders should listen to men’s opinions and
issues on family planning and address them in order to avoid the brooding of the myths and
misconceptions.

Okello Moses –District Planner Dokolo says that there is insufficient knowledge about some
family planning methods for men like vasectomy yet it is efficient, and some men are ready to
take it on. “many men shun vasectomy as a method of family planning because of the various
myths surrounding it such as reduction of one’s sexual urge or libido” Okello says.

He adds that men should be more involved in family planning because they are at a higher
chance of contributing to unplanned pregnancies than women.
Agnes Apio District Advocacy Coordinator Northern Region under Reproductive Health Uganda
(RHU) says some men in the Lango sub region have contributed to the low uptake of the
different family planning methods in place by quarrying the use of contraceptive, their safety and
efficacy.

Apio says men express negative concerns about intrauterine devices (IUDs) for women,
vasectomy, and implants.

“men report fears that women who use contraceptives would become infertile” Apio says. These
false beliefs and fears are the main hindrances to holistic Family planning utilization in this
region.
Apio explains scenarios where men responded with brutality to their partners who embraced
Family Planning methods like the use of implants by using razor blades to cut out the implants
inserted in their partners’ arms and in worse scenarios cut off the arms. She says such incidences
have created fear and so hindered the uptake of family planning in the region.
Reproductive Health Uganda through Advanced Family Planning is creating awareness to people
and breaking these barriers, myths, and misconceptions on family planning through Advocacy
Family Planning Working Groups at the district level which of course entail men in both
planning and implementation, working with both cultural and religious leaders and the media to
ensure an increase in the uptake of Family planning in the region.

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