Uganda will be the first African country to benefit from a new multi-million dollar global campaign to increase demand for family planning services and information. The new campaign dubbed, “It takes two” was announced on the first day of the 3rd Women Deliver Global conference on girls’ and women’s rights in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Over 5000 delegates from international Development Agencies, funding organisations, philanthropists, government representations, NGOs and Media are in Kuala Lumpur to share best practices, identify opportunities and challenges to improving maternal health and universal access to reproductive health and rights.
The campaign, a partnership between the Global Poverty Project and Women Deliver recently launched in the USA and will start in Uganda in a few months. It aims at raising awareness of, increasing demand for and improving access to family planning services and information. The two organisations will work with other partners in the campaign which aims to motivate young women and men to demand for family planning information and services.
Three out of ten women in Uganda who need to stop or space their next pregnancy are not using any contraception. There are about 700,000 unwanted pregnancies in Uganda every year. According to Dr. Jotham Musinguzi, Africa Regional Director, Partners in Population and Development, Uganda needs a total of US$20m annually for its contraception needs. “Currently Uganda is spending about US$10m annually. The presidential pledge made at the London Summit on Family Planning will reduce the shortfall,” he says.
President Yoweri Museveni at the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning pledged to provide an additional US$5m annually for reproductive health supplies. Museveni’s pledge will be included in the budget starting the next budget.
After Uganda, the campaign will be gradually spread out to other countries which include Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa among other countries.
By Anne Mugisa and Cathy Mwesigwa in Kuala Lumpur
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