Securing Access to Voluntary Permanent Family Planning
Forty-two-year-old Mbambu Medius lives in Kyampogo village in Kasese District, Uganda. She has 11 children and recently decided, with her husband’s support, to have the minilaparotomy procedure to permanently end her fertility.
When asked why she chose this method, Mbambu said, “I fear I will not be able to look after my children well if I continue having more. I feel tired most of the time and cannot do much to add to my husband’s little income.”
The procedure will allow her to concentrate on raising the children she has now. “I do not have to worry about carrying another child. I used to feel weak all the time with little energy to do any work.” Minilaparotomy is a permanent method of family planning.
During a follow up visit, Mbambu told Annah Masika, the clinical officer who performed the procedure, that she did not have any complaints. Masika was trained in the minilaparotomy procedure by the USAID-funded STRIDES for Family Health project.
Estimated at 2.58 percent, the use of permanent family planning methods like minilaparatomy has been low in Uganda, mainly due to inadequate skills to conduct surgical procedures.
Today, Masika gives daily talks to clients who come to Bwera hospital and sensitizes communities about minilaparotomy form of contraception whenever there is an outreach. A handful of women each month choose this permanent family planning method.
Tadeo Atuhura is a senior communications specialist for STRIDES for Family Health (STRIDES) in Uganda at MSH.