Family planning service providers in northern Uganda have turned to football to help attract more users.
Led by the United Nations Population Fund, the service providers have organized a football tournament for all the districts in Acholi sub region. The game has teams drawn for both male and females to compete for prizes and trophies.
Stijn Aelbers, the UNFPA communications officer, explained that the initiative is meant to mobilize communities and boost awareness for behavioral change that could improve reproductive health.
He said they realized that football could effectively raise awareness among the communities especially the youth and men.
Bernard Loum, an official of COAD Company, one of the organizers says 5 football teams are competing in the tournament. He says that during the matches information about reproductive health, gender based violence would be disseminated to the spectators and the players.
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Several youth and adults who turned up for the tournament at Pece stadium in Gulu were encouraged to access the wide range of services from the tents that were set up at the ground.
They ranged from HIV/Aids counseling and testing services, family planning services and information on population.
Beatrice Odong, one of the women who turned up for the event said she was glad to access free family planning service added that most of the services are usually expensive at the clinics.
Loum explains that wile the initiative has been a success; there have men who were discouraging their wives from taking part in the activities.
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He says they plan to use similar activities in future to disseminate information on reproductive health.
Statistics indicate a low level of access and use of quality contraceptives and other family planning services in Uganda.