Uganda Youth and Adolescent Health Forum (UYAHF) joined Uganda Youth Alliance for Family Planning and Adolescent Health (UYAFPAH), Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU), and other FP2030 Partners for a national breakfast meeting on the 24th of February 2022 to discuss and hold the government accountable on the launched FP2030 commitments.
The meeting, held at fareway hotel Kampala, was organized by the UYAFPAH in partnership with RHU with support from the Ministry of Health. It was held under the objectives; to popularise the FP2030 Commitments among the youth-led CSOs at the national level; to map out and plan for grassroot CSOs to facilitate the regional dissemination process, and to develop a roadmap/action plan on how to hold the government accountable for the FP2030 country commitments.
Uganda launched the FP2030 commitments on November 3rd, 2021, where the government made several commitments, especially on addressing the gaps in ensuring access to family planning commodities.
The meeting, brought together different stakeholders, young people including refugee girls and boys, young people living with disabilities, young mothers, young people living with HIV among others from both UYAHF and other FPA supported districts who shared their experiences on SRHR issues, their understanding on the FP2030 Commitments while appreciating their role in terms of implementation and holding government accountable.
During her opening remarks, Dr. Dinnah Nakiganda, the Assistant Commissioner for Adolescent Health at the Ministry of Health, commended the various partners for organizing the meeting. She urged the young people to use the meeting as an opportunity to clarify and understand the FP2030 commitments, as well as devise strategies for how they could be more directly involved in the implementation process.
“Family planning is a critical component of SRHR and should be a top priority for young people. As a result, I urge you to speak up and ask questions to learn more about what the government and the various ministries have done so far to fulfill the FPA2030 commitments they made last year.” She continued.
Ms. Betty Kyadondo, Director of Family Health at the National Population Council (NPC) joined the meeting virtually and presented the FPA2030 commitments to the audience. Some of the challenges presented by young people during the meeting include limited access to family planning services, lack of privacy when accessing family planning services, and prevailing myths and misconceptions brought about by the lack of accurate information about FP.
In his presentation, the Director of programs RHU, Dr. Peter Ibembe, emphasized the SDG slogan “leave no one behind” and called upon the different partners to fully commit themselves to advocate for young people to increase their access and uptake of SRHR information and services.
He further called for the need to popularise the commitments to layman’s language so that young people, especially in rural communities, benefit holistically.
“We also need a lot of will and support from stakeholders like politicians to make sure that everyone is on board to work toward these set commitments that will expire in 2030.”
During the meeting, the young people also came up with a roadmap/action plan for putting the FPA2030 commitment into action. Mr. Denis Kibwola, the UYAHF Youth Advisor, proposed that they establish multi-district platforms to tap into youth ideas and support youth to engage in livelihood activities to increase their income.
While Joyce Nakato, a project officer at UYAHF, advocated for a more inclusive approach to addressing the needs of people with disabilities (PWDS),
“We need inclusion; people with disabilities face silent challenges that they can’t easily discuss because of their conditions, so we need to take responsibility and reach out to them,” Joyce continued.
Other key elements in the action plan proposed by the young people include; increasing advocacy to disseminate family planning information; taking affirmative action targeting female youth aged 13 to 25, ensuring the functionality of youth-friendly corners; integrating partners’ efforts to disseminate family planning services; evaluating family planning activities; and accepting constructive criticism from the community for improvement.