Family Life Education Program: Scaling Up Family Planning Services in Kamuli District, Uganda
Herbert Kaswa is a Medical Clinical Officer at the Family Life Education Program (FLEP)’s Busoga Diocese clinic. He has been working in the medical field since 2001. The Busoga Diocese clinic was not fully functioning when Herbert started working there. The clinic only offered short-term methods of family planning, such as birth control pills, due to lack of funding and inadequate training of staff. In addition, the clinic did not have the funds or the resources to provide outreach services to people living in remote areas. The only way for the district’s citizens to obtain services was to go to the clinic -- which many did not have the means of doing.
FLEP is a faith-based, private, non-governmental organization that is a grantee of STRIDES for Family Health (STRIDES), a project funded by USAID and led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH). With the additional funding provided through a grant by STRIDES, FLEP was able to greatly scale up its services. In addition to the short-term methods of family planning, the clinic is now able to provide long-term and permanent methods.
This funding has also allowed the clinic to send its staff to outreach to remote areas -- where many people have never received medical services -- and provide vaccines, HIV testing, and family planning services. Also, the clinic now has shows on local radio stations to promote its services and has seen an increase in people coming out for services.
Before STRIDES supported FLEP, the clinic saw an average of 10 clients per week for short-term family planning methods. Now, the clinic sees an average of 40 family planning clients each week, with 10 of these 40 choosing permanent methods. While family planning tends to be considered mainly a “woman’s issue” in this culture, Herbert noted that since he and his staff learned how to provide permanent methods, they have had men come in requesting services.