The UK Department for International Development (DFID) has marked the launch of a new programme to support the Government of Uganda’s effort to address the population challenge and improve family planning uptake. The programme will be implemented by Marie Stopes International (MSI) and UNFPA.
Over the next five years, the UK government will invest £38 million — about Shs159 billion under the flagship programme “Reducing high fertility rates and improving sexual reproductive health outcomes in Uganda (RISE)”.
This is in addition to UK government support of £10.91 million — about Shs42 billion, through the International Planned Parenthood Federation and Reproductive Health Uganda.
The RISE program will support the implementation of the Uganda Family Planning Costed Implementation Plan (FP-CIP) 2015-2020 to accelerate the uptake of modern contraception and reduce the negative health, social and economic consequences of high fertility rates.
According to a statement by the British High Commission, the RISE strategic interventions will implement a social behaviour change communication strategy to create demand and behaviour change and support service provision at outreach and voucher components in the private sector to complement static services for hard-to-reach communities.
The interventions will also ensure strengthening of Health Systems to address gaps in the availability of FP commodities; and support policy formulation and advocacy to promote positive leadership on family planning issues.
Speaking at the launch, the DFID Head of Office, Francesca Stidston said, “Recent results of the Uganda Demographic Health Survey, shows that the country is making good progress in increasing access to modern contraceptives. This success would not have been possible if not for the support from the GoU. I therefore commend the role of the Government in achieving these results including the participation of His Excellency the President at the 2012 family planning summit in London and the Honourable Minister of Health at the follow-up London summit in the summer of 2017.
She added: “Our collective challenge now is to make good on those commitments and to translate good intention into results. In doing so, we need to think beyond narrow, sector specific strategies and understand how the whole of Government and its partners can and should contribute to unleashing a demographic dividend in Uganda, support to family planning being a key pillar.”