Young people in Uganda are especially vulnerable to multiple sexual and reproductive health challenges that deter them from realizing their full potential. Among these are; limited access to sexual reproductive health services and information in addition to other social, cultural and economic obstacles that impede and compromise their quality of life, equity and dignity.

Despite positive advances, sexual and reproductive ill-health remains one of the greatest challenges facing young people in Uganda. Each year, hundreds of thousands of adolescent girls in Uganda get pregnant while others contract HIV and other STIs.
In spite of the overwhelming sexual reproductive health issues that adolescents in Uganda face, they inadvertently have high rates of unmet contraceptive needs. According to a guttmacher report 2019, an estimated 648,000 women aged 15–19 in Uganda are sexually active and do not want a child in the next two years. However, among this group, more than 60% have an unmet need for modern contraception, meaning that they either use no contraceptive method or use a traditional method of contraception.

Health workers and UYAHF team giving out information during a session

With that background, UYAHF conducted youth led research on young people’s experiences, challenges and best practices on demand, access and utilization of youth friendly contraceptive services and information. This research was conducted in Mbale district from 10th to 13th December 2019 and assessed the existence of youth friendly services in key health centers therein including the Regional Referral Hospital, Malukhu Health center III, Namatala Health center IV, Nakaloke Health center III, Lwangoli Health center III, Busiu, Mbale Epicenter health center II, Jewa Health center III. The team also visited the district health office to get a wider view of the health centers they were unable to visit. The report is still being compiled and the findings of this assessment will be presented at a national policy advocacy dialogue meeting that will attract representatives from government, civil society, religious leaders, cultural leaders, youth led organizations and young people.