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The Uganda EC Consortium PDF Print E-mail

Photo 4mainstreaming ec into adolescents and women’s health services in uganda june 2005 – july 2006.

BRIEF

The Uganda EC Consortium is Uganda’s only platform on Emergency Contraception with membership ranging from individuals, not for profit organizations, health facilities, government agencies to profit oriented establishments. Started in 2003 as the Consortium of Advocates and Consumers of EC in Uganda by Child Care & Rescue Programme and Uganda Youth Empowerment Scheme/Association of Uganda Women Medical Doctors following a grant from Pacific Institute for Women’s Health, the consortium has grown steadily through the second round of funding as the most reliable EC mouthpiece in the country.

EC was conceived from scratch in 2003 and through thick and thin all efforts were geared towards having it materialize. The concept was very un popular with a lot of misconceptions attached to it that could actually make whoever mentioned it sound like has committed an abomination! However, much as there is still a lot to be desired, we can comfortably report that at least 3/15 average Ugandans in selected towns and peri-urban areas have basic knowledge on EC as the only method to prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex, but only 1/15 knows exactly where the service can be accessed

INTRODUCTION

In July 2005, the Uganda EC Consortium through Child Care & Rescue Programme received a grant in the second round from the Pacific Institute for Women’s Health supported by the Compton Foundation with the overall objective of strengthening the consortium in terms of acceptance, access to quality services, correct information regarding EC and expanding the scope so as to improve reproductive and sexual health and rights of women and young people in Uganda.

Objective 1: Public Awareness raising through IEC development and dissemination Objective 2: Increase Accessibility to EC through already established Family Planning Systems Objective 4: Increase availability of Contraception to vulnerable women and young people and making service delivery much affordable and friendlier.

SPECIFIC DEVELOPMENTS

* We selected competent organizations with a lot of experience in sexual and reproductive health as partners and this was one step towards laying a firm foundation to successfully achieve the objectives of the consortium.
* We have taken a comprehensive strategy in as far as coverage of the project area is concerned. Dividing the area into four health sub districts where each individual organization is solely responsible for one and reports timely, ensures efficiency in scope and service delivery.
* A silent trend of events we have taken by building the capacity of our advocates with minimum interference of the media has saved the face of the consortium from the wrath of religious and political leaders who would intimidate them and also mislead the public.
* A team of advocates that has been shaped comprises of people from different backgrounds with a multitude of strategies to consolidate EC right from the grassroots. The team has religious leaders with a positive attitude, political and cultural leaders, young people and parents.
* Bringing the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization to be architects of specific programs in the consortium is bringing government closer to having a position on EC hence lessening suspicion from the public and increasing the popularity of the consortium nationally.
* The consortium boosts of having on record 42 health facilities of which 21 are competent enough to provide EC services with or without our intervention.
* Having the IEC materials adopted by the Ministry of Health and the ministry’s offer to participate in dissemination is bringing closer government to offer EC in Uganda a “green card” which will make the future of EC in Uganda brighter.