Connie Kekihembo, the Executive Director of the Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation Uganda says that young people with a physical disability and those with other impairments are mocked whenever they visit health facilities to enrol for family planning services. This was based on data collected from Mukono and Luweero districts, last year.
State Minister for Lands Dr Chris Baryomunsi (L) Shares A Moment With Executive Director Uganda Population Council Dr Jotham Musinguzi (C) and Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe (R) at the Conference gd
Sexual and Reproductive Health
Services remain inaccessible for an estimated six million people in the
country. A number of these are persons
with visual challenges, hearing impairments, the physically handicapped and
refugees, among others.
A group or researchers has challenged
the government and policy makers to introduce deliberate policies for
the integration of the vulnerable groups in care in line with a goal to leave no
Connie Kekihembo, the Executive
Director of the Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation Uganda says that young people
with a physical disability and those with other impairments are mocked whenever they
visit health facilities to enrol for family planning services. This was based
on data collected from Mukono and Luweero districts, last year.
“The problem starts right from
our homes in our inabilities to effectively communicate issues of sexuality
with our children due to persistent low coverage of sign language skills in the
country. How do we tell them the issues of puberty, body changes, the growth of
breast and menstruation?” she paused.
The National Parliamentary Representative
for persons with disabilities, Sofia Nalule Jjuuko said that the most glaring
evidence is the lack of disability beds in most labour suits in health
facilities in Uganda. Nalule said the exclusion affects Six Million Persons
Living with Disabilities identified in the 2014 National Population and Housing
She called for new policy regimes
for the integration of the vulnerable groups in access, uptake and utilization of
Sexual and Reproductive Health Services. They were speaking at a Policy Round-table at
the ongoing African Population Conference in Entebbe on Wednesday.
Similarly, Stella Neema, a
Research Fellow at Makerere University says that studies conducted in Nakivale
Refugees Settlement found no youth-friendly Sexual and Reproductive Health
Services in the Four Health Facilities operating there.
Esther Leah Achandi, a former
Research Fellow at the University of Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania studied access
to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services among 120 Burundian and Rwandan
displaced young women living in Ugandan Refugee Settlements.
She says they found that poverty,
mobility and orphanage are major hindrances to access to Sexual and
Reproductive Services despite years of advocacy and an increase in the proportion
of the Population using Contraceptives.
“When parents can’t provide Pads
for menstruating young girls, they attach themselves to someone else which enslaves
them in transactional sex under the duress of poverty. And this means more
unplanned pregnancies, unwanted children and early marriages among others” she
The 2016 Uganda Demographic and
Health Surveys puts the rate of teenage pregnancy in the country at 25 per cent.
The figure is higher among out of school adolescents’ youth pushed out by high
poverty burden, mobility from rural areas to urban areas and the high
Dr Chris Baryomunsi, the State
Minister for Urban Development says the recognition that special needs groups
of people were being left behind has triggered the implementation of new budgetary measures for their inclusion. Dr
Baryomunsi says that today, all ministerial and sector budgets are accompanied
by disability, gender and equity certificates of compliance before they are
approved for implementation.
//Cue in; “For Instance we
Cue out….no one behind”//
Under the United Nations’
Sustainable Development Goals, countries such as Uganda Committed to
guaranteeing the enjoyment of reproductive health and reproductive rights by
allowing women to decide if, when, with whom and how often to bear
children. The rights advocate for safe pregnancy-safe delivery, with adequate antenatal and postnatal care, access to
family planning counselling and a range of modern contraceptive methods.
The United Nations Population
Fund UNFPA says the success of the commitment depends on among others timely,
comprehensive sexuality education that allows adolescents and young people to
learn about their bodies, understand relationships, make informed decisions
about their sexuality, and stand up against sexual harassment, exploitation and