Pulani Ki? – UYAHF launches a new contraception promotion campaign
The campaign code named Pulani Ki? literally translated as ‘What’s your plan?” was launched in Kasangati play grounds and it is aimed at creating awareness about various contraception methods and to create a platform for young people, service providers and policy makers to deliberate on challenges as well as mechanisms for enhancing access to contraceptives to those who need it.
The campaign borne out of the realisation that lack of awareness about contraception was a major contributor to the high levels of teenage pregnancy, unsafe abortions and maternal mortality observed in the country. This is despite the availability of effective and safe means of avoiding unwanted pregnancies. Thus, the campaign focuses on disseminating information about the available methods and creating a platform for young people, health workers, parents, teachers and activists to interface and dialogue about the methods.
The campaign utilises a mix of community mobilisation strategies to improve community engagement. These include using social media including twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp. The campaign is promoted under the hashtag #PulaniKi? on twitter and Facebook. Other strategies included; using a community mobilisation truck and door to door condom ‘vending’.
The launch of the campaign attracted various youth-led and youth serving organisations including; Naguru teenage centre, Public health Ambassadors Uganda, Youth Equality Centre, and Uganda Cares.
Sr. Catherine from Komamboga Health Centre held numerous education sessions on how to use various contraceptive methods. Sessions were attended by men, young people, women and gave participants opportunity to pose questions to the health workers. Several myths about the methods were discussed and some included; the belief that female condoms cause heat during intercourse, the condom getting stuck into the female reproductive organ and that contraceptive pills caused adverse health effects.
Sr. Catherine informed participants that much as pills may have effects on health, they are mild, rare and also manageable. The various methods included; the use of pills, using the male condom and using the female latex condom. This gave an opportunity for participants to ask questions. She encouraged participants to consistently use their preferred choice of contraception to improve efficacy. UYAHF is keen to engage care providers grassroots including both private and public.
Other activities at the launch event included; blood donation, voluntary HIV counselling and testing, education of menstrual hygiene management, education on signs and symptoms of STDs, testing for STDS including syphilis and HIV, prevention of STDs as well as condom distribution.