Source: Daily Monitor
The United States and British governments have launched a four-year Shs213.5 billion project to increase the use of contraceptive services among Ugandans.

Through the project, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UK's Department for International Development (DfID) will provide family planning services in all parts of Uganda.
"Together, the USAID and DfID will engage the public and private sectors to supply low-cost and effective contraceptives to rural women," said the U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, Mr Jerry P. Lanier, on Saturday. He added that with Uganda's current 32million population projected to double by 2050, 'the country urgently needs to scale-up, high-impact interventions to meet family planning needs'.

This high fertility rate partly attributes to the fact that only about two of every 10 married Ugandan women between 15 and 49 years use injectable contraceptives, pills, and sterilisation. It is also estimated that four in every 10 married women would like to use family planning services but they do not have access to the services and supplies.

Britain will contribute 35 million Pound Sterling (Shs157.5b), whereas the US will contribute $20m (Shs56b). The UK Secretary for International Development, Mr Andrew Mitchell, said many women still face challenges in accessing family planning services and yet the potential exists to scale-up accessibility.

"This programme will help the government of Uganda to achieve its objective of promoting sustainable population through family planning interventions," added Mr Mitchell. He said DfID and USAID would work together to expand the outreach services of Marie Stopes Uganda and the social marketing of contraceptives through Uganda Health Marketing Group.

"The result is to ensure that women have choice over whether and when they have children. About 700,000 women would be able to access family planning services than before," said Mr Mitchell.

Ms Janet Jackson, the UNFPA Representative to Uganda, said this would provide a 'huge impetus' and accelerate the efforts being undertaken at the moment. "This huge contribution by the U.S. and the U.K. governments will enable the not-for-profit sector to really strengthen family planning," said Jackson.

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