A 400 million shillings program to promote family planning in Ntoroko district is not bearing fruits.
A 400 million shillings program to promote family planning in Ntoroko district is not bearing fruits. In 2009, Ntoroko district set aside 400 million shillings to promote family planning for two years because of the high population in the district. The money was used to open family planning clinics in all the 6 sub counties and in some villages and purchase contraceptives for free distribution to women.
The communities were also sensitized about the importance of family planning at the end of each month. In Karugutu Sub County, two family planning clinics were opened, all equipped with contraceptives like condoms and pills. There were also two volunteer’s in-charge of the clinics.
Geoffrey Masereka, the in-charge Karambi family planning clinic says that since opening the clinics four months ago, the community has not visited the clinics to get information on family planning. Maseruka also says that they have been distributing contraceptives to several households, but they are returned to the clinic. Masereka also says that the clinics organize seminars, but less that ten people attend them.
He says that despite the lack of interest, the clinic will continue operating and serve the few members of the community who need the services. Goretti Banura, a resident of Karambi village says that she wanted to use contraceptives, but her husband stopped her. Banura says that whenever she would visit the clinics and return home with pills, the husband would threaten to beat her and even force her to return the contraceptives to the clinic.
In Itojo, Kibuku and Rwebisengo, the clinics have closed and the contraceptives taken to Karugutu Health Centre III. However some of people have embraced the programme. Bernard Baluku, a resident of Nyamisi village says that he and the wife were ignorant about family planning. Baluku says that since visiting the clinic, he has been able to gain knowledge on family planning and plans to influence other people to embrace the programme.
//Cue in: “me and my wife…”
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George Mwesigwa, the Ntoroko district population officer says that they plan to use opinion leaders in the district, who can easily influence the communities to use family planning practices.
Mwesigwa also says that the district will before the end of this year organize a family planning week to sensitize the communities through music and drama on the importance of family planning. He says that because of the high population, there is scarcity of land and people have resorted to deforestation, because people want land for settlement and food production. Statistics from the district show that Ntoroko has a population of 60,000. The national census in 2002 estimated the population to be at 51,000.