On 20th and 21st we conducted our quarterly community dialogues in Tororo and Butaleja districts respectively under our @Fos_Feminista project. The dialogue aimed, among others, to strengthen advocacy within the communities towards Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) and the harm reduction model by April 2024.  

Community dialogues are one of the strategies used by the Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum (UYAHF) to create opportunities for young people to interface with key policymakers, service providers, and health workers for an open discussion to share their challenges and collectively seek immediate solutions. It facilitates discussions between the two generations which in the end will provide a mutual understanding and promote an attitude where challenges are seen as opportunities, and better strategies are developed to address the SRHR issues of young people.

The dialogues brought together 30 participants for each district including young mothers and fathers, district stakeholders like the District Health Officer, Probation and Welfare officer, Community Development Officer, local leaders in the community, and health workers who collectively identified key Sexual reproductive health gaps and access challenges in the community and brainstormed possible ways to address them.

During the discussions, negative mindset, restrictive cultural and religious beliefs, misconceptions about Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services especially family planning, and the unwelcoming nature of some health workers were pointed out as a major obstacle to young people’s access to SRH services.

The young mothers reported that some health workers are also discriminative in the provision of health services.

“When I was pregnant, I went to the health center for antennal care with my mother, but were chased because I did not go with the person responsible for the pregnancy.” Recalled Akello Winnie, a young mother.

According to health workers, young people also have poor health information and service-seeking behaviors.

“Most of the adolescents don’t want to come to the health facility for services. They prefer listening to their peers and I think that is why there are a lot of cases of unsafe abortions. On family planning when they hear their peers or parents say negative things, they take that to be the right information” explained sister Soigi Erina Christine, from Busolwe Hospital.

During the dialogue, the adolescents also had a 30-minute opportunity for a question-and-answer session with the health worker on some of the myths and misconceptions about family planning, abortion, and post-abortal care, among others. Following the discussion, the different stakeholders clearly identified their roles to play in ensuring better health provision for young people.

The dialogue also provided a platform for the UYAHF team to share with the participants about the Subbi helpline (0800379995), a tollfree line that they can use to privately and conveniently seek correct SRHR services and information including but not limited to family planning (Contraception), post abortal care, menstrual hygiene, SGBV reporting and referral assistance and counseling services among others.


At the end of the dialogue, the participants made several commitments as shared below:

The probation and welfare and community development officers from both districts committed to publicizing the Suubi helpline so that more young people access SRHR services.

The young people created small groups according to their parishes for follow and committed to passing on the acquired information to their peers who were not able to make it.