Family Planning Services
When FLEP was founded in 1986, delivery of family planning (FP) services was the core intervention area for the program. FLEP was among the first organizations in Uganda to run a community based distribution (CBD) program for FP commodities/services. This history provides FLEP a rich experience in supporting couples to have manageable family sizes and thus contribute to the reduction of high fertility rates in program communities and Uganda at large.
FLEP provides a full range of FP services including long-acting and permanent methods (LAPM) and short-acting methods for family planning. There are 2 voluntary surgical contraception clinics (VSC) with adequately equipped theatres for conducting female and male sterilization procedures.
Village health team (VHTs) constitute the backbone of the FP program by providing appropriate information and/or services and conduct referral for couples or individuals to the 52 program health centres for appropriate family planning services. VHTs register all women in reproductive age (15-49 years) within their catchments to enable them map households with target groups that are eligible for family planning interventions. It’s against this information that targeted FP couple counseling sessions are conducted to households.
There are Moslem VHTs that target Moslem couples with FP education sessions during Friday ‘Juma’ prayers. This activity is implemented with support from the respective District Uganda Moslem Supreme Council (UMSC) offices. The moon beads cycle a family planning option that suits the teachings of the Islamic faith that forbids modern contraceptive use is promoted.
VHTs therefore distribute female and male condoms, oral contraceptives and moon beads cycles and refer clients for injectables, and long-acting and permanent methods to either of the 52 program health centres. Additionally, targeted FP outreach sessions are conducted to hard-to-reach communities including islands of Lake Victoria to increase FP service accessibility, coverage and utilization.
The family planning program has contributed to an improvement in the lives of communities.
An evaluation of one of the FP programs in Kamuli district showed that contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) had risen from 28.4% (2007) to 52.2% in 2009. This CPR in program catchments doubled Kamuli district CPR (23%) and the National average of 24%.
Additionally, there are two community feeder roads in Nabwigulu sub county Kamuli district and Bumanya sub county Kaliro district respectively, along which FP clients live, which have been re-named by the community as “family planning streets” . In these two communities each with an average of 70 households, over half of the households are clients for permanent contraception.