18 May 2017

Uganda: Budget Cuts to Affect Adolescent Reproductive Health-Youth Activists

Youths have expressed fears that the proposed budget cuts that have also affected the health sector are likely to render young people especially adolescents unable to access quality reproductive health services.

Inability to access the services which include family planning, prevention of abortion and post abortion among others, the youth under the Kampala Youth Advocacy and Development Network [KYADNET) made of over 40 organisations, say is likely to increase the rate of maternal mortality.

Mr Raymond Ruyoka, the chairperson of KYADNET said that they are engaging different stake holders to ensure that the youth and adolescents are not left the health budget.

"We come as non-state actors to foster access to reproductive health care so that these budget cuts on health do not affect the youth and adolescents," Mr Ruyoka said.

As young people, Mr Patrick Mwesigye the team leader of Uganda Youths and Adolescents Health Forum (UYAHF) they are concerned that reproductive health care services particularly family planning are going to be rendered inadequate there are no resources to cater for a bigger population.

"We know that reproductive health in this country is largely funded by donors but looking at the fact that the donors have also cut funding towards the organisations that provide family planning, where are we heading if we don't do it our self," Mr Mwesigye asked.

He called upon government to provide essential drugs and commodities for reproductive health and also motivate doctors especially those who offer reproductive health like midwives, gynecologist especially those who work in the so called remote areas.

The US department of State announced in March that it was ending its funding to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) which largely supports family planning programmes.

Moving forward, the youths vowed to continue participating in the implementation process of the budget to make sure that even the little funds that will have been allocated to the sector reach where they are supposed to be used.

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