Shortage of Short-term Contraceptives Hits Bundibugyo Health Centres

Facilities like Bubukwanga HCIII are handling high volumes of mothers seeking maternal services

Audio 5

There is a general stock out of contraceptives in Health Centres across Bundibugyo District.

The most sought after contraceptives include Sayana press and Depo Provera injectable contraceptives which last for 13 weeks to prevent pregnancy. However, most of the facilities visited by Uganda Radio Network had not received any consignment of the said contraceptives over the last month.

At Bubukwanga HCIII, the facility would get an average of between 50 to 70 clients in one day, but the number has drastically dropped to between 10-20 clients since the reported shortage of short-term contraceptives. Jackline Bonabana, an enrolled midwife at the facility is worried that many mothers could get unwanted pregnancies or even resort to unsafe abortions.

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Bonabana adds that many women prefer to use short-term methods for security and easy administration because they do it without the consent of their husbands.

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The situation is not any different at Busunga HCII in Bubandi Sub County and Busaru HC-IV in Busaru Town. Busunga Health Centre last received injectable contraceptives in August with 146 mothers registered for the services that month. This number went down to 24 clients in September, according to medical records available at the facility.

Kasulenge HCII, the facility has also run out of Sayana and Depo more than four months ago, yet mothers have shunned the other available methods including IDU’s.

Samson Muwonge the health assistant at Kasulenge says the facility receives between 50-70 clients on average needing short term methods and less than 20 who prefer long term. He adds that the facility does not have any external support, which means that ant shortfalls in Government supplies put the maternal services for both mothers and young girls at risk.

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Dr David Muhindo, the Burondo health centre III in charge told URN that they have had a shortage of short term contraceptive supplies for more than three months. Although the facility managed to get a few doses from the district stores last month, they were also consumed within days.

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Mathu Bafumoya, the clinical officer in charge of Bubukwanga HCIII, however, told URN that a number of health workers are not skilled to offer long-term methods and therefore, they have not fully encouraged the mothers to have these options. He notes an increase in family planning uptake since the last lock-down was announced last year.

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Alice Biira who has been getting her contraceptives from Mirambi HCIII in Mirambi Sub County has been bouncing since August on account that both Depo and Sayana are not available at the facility. Biira prefers the short term family planning methods because her husband could not allow her to take it on despite her desire not to produce another child before next year.

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The DHO Dr Christopher Kiyita however says a new consignment of contraceptives' is expected to arrive soon. He, however, declined to answer further questions on the matter on the ground that he was heading for a meeting.