Last Updated on: 2nd February 2022, 01:22 pm
Lamwo district speaker said the district council and the district health committee have pledged to bolster all coordination efforts.
Lamwo – February 2, 2022: Lamwo District Local Government with support from Women and Rural Development Network (WORUDET), a women’s right organization in Northern Uganda has approved and signed a resolution to promote family Planning Costed Implementation Plan (FPCIP) from 2021/2022-2026/2027.
The Lamwo district FPCIP 2021/2022-2026/2027 focuses on ensuring that the resource envelope is increased to support women and men to raise a manageable family.
This is the first time an important resolution has been signed jointly to promote family planning.
The resolution, which impacts all leaders, development partners among Women and Rural Development Network (WORUDET) and district stakeholders in Lamwo district, will focus on educating communities about family planning and integrating family planning into the district’s budget and development plan.
Sisto Oyet Ocen is the Lamwo district chairperson. “The district costed implementation plan addresses key challenges, and provides practical solutions as agreed upon by the key stakeholders on the April 5, 2018 and approved by the district council on January 21, 2022.”
“I want to note that it is in line with the Ministry of Health National Family Planning Costed Implementation Plan, Vision 2040 and the Family Planning 2020 and 2030 commitments,” said Oyet.
According to Ocen, the district FPCIP is in agreement with President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who provided excellent leadership and made strong commitments to family planning during the London Summit on family planning in July 2012.
The Lamwo district chair also said the plan concurs with the Uganda National Family Planning Conference held in July 2014 and the recent launch on November 3 2021 on the 2030 commitments.
Okoya Mathew Akera is the Lamwo district vice chairperson and secretary health education and community based services. He said the plan is premised on six thematic areas including demand creation, service delivery and access; contraceptives security, financing, policy and enabling environment, stewardship, management and accountability.
Okoya said as indicated in the 2014 national census, Lamwo district has a fertility rate of 5.4% which is the same as the national average. “Lamwo has an uphill task to ensure that women and men in the district have a healthy family,” he added.
“I believe that we will work together to address the reproductive health needs of women and men across all categories to reduce the unmet need for family planning,” secretary of health, Okoya noted.
Ochola James who is the Lamwo district speaker said the district council and the district health committee have pledged to bolster all coordination efforts, calling on development and implementing partners to work with the district to support and implement the district Coasted Implementation Plan.
This, he believes is to ensure that success of the national family program intended to improve the quality of life and well-being of people of Lamwo is achieved.
Alex Felix Majeme, the Lamwo district chief administrative officer (CAO) said the district FPCIP complements the government of Uganda’s commitment to reducing the unmet need for family planning to 10% and increasing the modern contraceptives prevalence rate to 56% by 2027.
In partnership with the central government, Majeme said the district’s 2021/2022-2026/2027 plan will not only enable the district to reach her family planning goals, but also set precedent on the strategic direction the district has towards family planning.
According to the Lamwo District Development Plan 2015-2020, the district has a high fertility rate, which has also contributed to the existing youthful age structures and rapidly growing population.
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The total fertility rate estimated at 5.4(Uganda demographic health survey (UDHS) 2016) which is the same as the national average. It is estimated that there are 32,094 women of child bearing age (15-49 years) with numbers of pregnancies at 6,976 per year, expected births of 6,768 per year.
Lamwo district has an estimate of 6,001 children less than 1 year with a modern contraceptives prevalence rate at 30.2% and an unmet needs for all methods of family planning at 31.3%, a figure which is slightly higher than the national average of 28%.
The UDHS 2016 observations indicate that childbearing begins early with 23.8% of women aged 15-19 already mothers or pregnant with their first child. Further, the survey concluded that teenage pregnancy and motherhood are major social and health concerns as it is associated with higher morbidity and mortality of both mother and the baby.
Cultural aspect on family planning
Cultural preferences for large families and substantial dowries for young brides have traditionally hampered family planning use. This has contributed to a teen pregnancy rate of more than 35.2% in the region. Advance family planning local partner, Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) has supported family planning advocacy in the Lamwo district since 2017.
In 2019, during a “generation for generation dialogue” organized by Reach-a-Hand Uganda , a youth led and youth serving organization working in Lamwo and Kitgum districts with advocacy working groups, a local district speaker identified the challenge of cultural leaders speaking negatively about family planning within the community.
In August 2020, the National Population Council (NPC), a national governing body, held a meeting in Lira with representatives of the Lango Cultural Foundation (LCF) on how to engage with cultural leaders to promote family planning. The meeting identified the council of clan chiefs (Owitong), overseen by the Paramount Chief (Won Nyaci) as key to their advocacy efforts.
The district working group brought together clan leaders in September 2020 to build consensus on the need to prioritize and promote family planning. Speakers from RHU; UNFPA; the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development; NPC and the Lira district health officer (DHO) shared compelling narratives and statistics highlighting the importance of family planning to support economic development and to harness the demographic dividend.
In mid 2021, the Acholi cultural institution led by the Paramount Chief, Rwot David Onen Acana II, held a meeting at Boma Hotel in Kitgum and resolved on laying out plans to integrate family planning messages into community gatherings and to debunk misconceptions.
The 2021 meeting also made a commitment to incorporate family planning in the Acholi Cultural Foundation’s budget and development plans, and to establish a family planning advocacy working group in the region.