HD-Background Selector

2015 In Article

INTRODUCTION: Adolescents are frequently reluctant to seek sexual and reproductive health services (SRH). In Uganda, adolescent health and development is constrained by translation of the relevant policies to practice. Recent studies done in central Uganda have shown that there is need for a critical assessment of adolescent friendly services (AFS) to gain insights on current practice and inform future interventions. This study aimed to assess the sexual reproductive health needs of the adolescents and explored their attitudes towards current services available. METHODS: A qualitative study was conducted in Wakiso district, central Uganda in September 2013.Twenty focus group discussions (FGDs) stratified by gender (10 out-of-school, and 10 in-school), were purposefully sampled. We used trained research assistants (moderator and note taker) who used a pretested FGD guide translated into the local language to collect data. All discussions were audio taped, and were transcribed verbatim before analysis. Thematic areas on; adolescent health problems, adolescent SRH needs, health seeking behaviour and attitudes towards services, and preferred services were explored. Data was analysed using atlas ti version 7 software. RESULTS: Our results clearly show that adolescents have real SRH Issues that need to be addressed. In and out-of-school adolescents had sexuality problems such as unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), defilement, rape, substance abuse. Unique to the females was the Issue of sexual advances by older men and adolescents. We further highlight RH needs which would be solved by establishing adolescent friendly clinics with standard recommended characteristics (sexuality information, friendly health providers, a range of good clinical services such as post-abortion care etc.). With regard to health seeking behaviour, most adolescents do not take any action at first until disease severity increase. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents in Uganda have multiple sexual and reproductive health needs that require special focus through adolescent friendly services. This calls for resource support in terms of health provider training, information education and communication materials as well as involvement of key stakeholders that include parents, teachers and legislators.

2014 In Article

This article presents estimates based on the research conducted in 2010 of the cost to the Ugandan health system of providing post-abortion care (PAC), filling a gap in knowledge of the cost of unsafe abortion. Thirty-nine public and private health facilities were sampled representing three levels of health care, and data were collected on drugs, supplies, material, personnel time and out-of-pocket expenses. In addition, direct Non-medical costs in the form of overhead and capital costs were also measured. Our results show that the average annual PAC cost per client, across five types of abortion complications, was $131. The total cost of PAC nationally, including direct Non-medical costs, was estimated to be $13.9 million per year. Satisfying all demand for PAC would raise the national cost to $20.8 million per year. This shows that PAC consumes a substantial portion of the total expenditure in reproductive health in Uganda. Investing more resources in family planning programmes to prevent unwanted and mistimed pregnancies would help reduce health systems costs.

2015 In Article

BACKGROUND: Ugandan law prohibits abortion under all circumstances except where there is a risk for the woman's life. However, it has been estimated that over 250 000 illegal abortions are being performed in the country yearly. Many of these abortions are carried out under unsafe conditions, being one of the most common reasons behind the nearly 5000 maternal deaths per year in Uganda. Little research has been conducted in relation to societal views on abortion within the Ugandan society. This study aims to analyze the discourse on abortion as expressed in the two main daily Ugandan newspapers. METHOD: The conceptual content of 59 articles on abortion between years 2006-2012, from the two main daily English-speaking newspapers in Uganda, was studied using principles from critical discourse analysis. RESULTS: A religious discourse and a human rights discourse, together with medical and legal sub discourses frame the subject of abortion in Uganda, with consequences for who is portrayed as a victim and who is to blame for abortions taking place. It shows the strong presence of the Catholic Church within the medial debate on abortion. The results also demonstrate the absence of medial statements related to abortion made by political stakeholders. CONCLUSIONS: The Catholic Church has a strong position within the Ugandan society and their stance on abortion tends to have great influence on the way other actors and their activities are presented within the media, as well as how stakeholders choose to convey their message, or choose Not to publicly debate the Issue in question at all. To decrease the number of maternal deaths, we highlight the need for a more inclusive and varied debate that problematizes the current situation, especially from a gender perspective.

2014 In Article

Annually, upward of 100,000 Ugandan women receive care after a spontaneous or induced abortion. Abortion-related complications account for up to 26% of maternal deaths. Pilot projects have trained Ugandan midwives in the use of manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) for postabortion care (PAC), but to date there is no published literature exploring midwifery training and PAC practices. To better understand how PAC is provided in public Ugandan hospitals, the midwife's training and role in PAC and the perceived barriers to providing PAC, interviews with midwives were conducted at 3 public hospitals. A framework analysis of emergent and a priori themes was conducted. Fewer than half of midwives interviewed had received formal PAC training. Current clinical practice in PAC includes MVA, dilatation and curettage, and medical management with misoprostol. Participants identified barriers to providing PAC, which include shortage of staff and equipment, transportation, cultural issues, and gender inequality. Solutions include increased staffing on maternity wards, training more midwives to perform MVA, and improved planning and communication with National Medical Stores. Community sensitization and support for young pregnant women is needed.

2006 In Article

In this qualitative research, the author explored (in general) whether domestic violence and induced abortion feature in men's and women's sexual and reproductive health experiences. In particular, he explored whether and how gender roles influence reproductive decision-making behavior regarding contraception, unwanted pregnancy, and induced abortion. The study area was Wakiso district in central Uganda, which surrounds the capital city, Kampala. The author collected data using in-depth interviews and focus group discussions and analyzed them using grounded theory. Effects of unplanned pregnancy were perceived to be gender specific. Unintended pregnancy and induced abortion as a health Issue did Not concern men. Rather, what concerned them was spouses' contraception, which they often strongly opposed. Consequently, covert contraceptive use was common. The author describes a relation between domestic violence, Nonuse of contraception, unintended pregnancy, and induced abortion.

2009 In Article

OBJECTIVE: To assess whether reported coercion at sexual debut is associated with a greater lifetime risk of attempting an abortion among women in Rakai, Uganda. METHODS: Analysis of data from sexually experienced, ever-pregnant women in a longitudinal, population-based, open cohort study in 56 rural communities in Rakai, Uganda (n=4784). For univariate analysis, the t test was used for continuous variables and the Pearson chi(2) or Fisher exact tests for categorical variables. Multivariate logistic regression was used to control for potential confounding. RESULTS: Twenty percent of women reported coercion at sexual debut. Compared with women who reported consensual sexual debut, the adjusted odds ratio (OR) of subsequent abortion attempts among coerced women was 1.57 (95% CI, 1.11-2.20). CONCLUSION: There is a need to protect women from sexual coercion, implement policies for prevention of violence, and provide comprehensive reproductive health care, including prevention of unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortions.

2015 In Article

Misoprostol use for postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) has been promoted by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) since the early 2000s. Yet, CSOs' role in improving access to misoprostol and shaping health policy at global and national levels is Not well understood. We document the introduction of misoprostol in Uganda in 2008 from its registration, addition to treatment guidelines and national Essential Medicines List (EML), to its distribution and use. We then analyse the contribution of CSOs to this health policy change and service provision. Policy documents, procurement data and 82 key informant interviews with government officials, healthcare providers, and CSOs in four Ugandan districts of Kampala, Mbarara, Apac, Bundibugyo were collected between 2010 and 2013. Five key CSOs promoted and accelerated the rollout of misoprostol in Uganda. They supported the registration of misoprostol with the National Drug Authority, the development of clinical guidelines, and the piloting and training of health care providers. CSOs and National Medical Stores were procuring and distributing misoprostol country-wide to health centres two years before it was added to the clinical guidelines and EML of Uganda and in the absence of good evidence. The evidence suggests an increasing trend of misoprostol procurement and availability over the medicine of choice, oxytocin. This shift in national priorities has serious ramifications for maternal health care that need urgent evaluation. The absence of clinical guidelines in health centres and the lack of training preclude rational use of misoprostol. CSOs shifted their focus from the public to the private sector, where some of them continue to promote its use for off-label indications including induction of labour and abortion. There is an urgent need to build capacity to improve the robustness of the national and local institutions in assessing the safety and effectiveness of all medicines and their indications in Uganda.

2014 In Article

BACKGROUND: Abortion is restricted in Uganda, and poor access to contraceptive methods result in unwanted pregnancies. This leaves women no other choice than unsafe abortion, thus placing a great burden on the Ugandan health system and making unsafe abortion one of the major contributors to maternal mortality and morbidity in Uganda. The existing sexual and reproductive health policy in Uganda supports the sharing of tasks in post-abortion care. This task sharing is taking place as a pragmatic response to the increased workload. This study aims to explore physicians' and midwives' perception of post-abortion care with regard to professional competences, methods, contraceptive counselling and task shifting/sharing in post-abortion care. METHODS: In-depth interviews (n = 27) with health care providers of post-abortion care were conducted in seven health facilities in the Central Region of Uganda. The data were organized using thematic analysis with an inductive approach. RESULTS: Post-abortion care was perceived as necessary, albeit controversial and sometimes difficult to provide. Together with poor conditions post-abortion care provoked frustration especially among midwives. Task sharing was generally taking place and midwives were identified as the main providers, although they would rarely have the proper training in post-abortion care. Additionally, midwives were sometimes forced to provide services outside their defined task area, due to the absence of doctors. Different uterine evacuation skills were recognized although few providers knew of misoprostol as a method for post-abortion care. An overall need for further training in post-abortion care was identified. CONCLUSION: Task sharing is taking place, but providers lack the relevant skills for the provision of quality care. For post-abortion care to improve, task sharing needs to be scaled up and in-service training for both doctors and midwives needs to be provided. Post-abortion care should further be included in the educational curricula of nurses and midwives. Scaled-up task sharing in post-abortion care, along with misoprostol use for uterine evacuation would provide a systematic approach to improving the quality of care and accessibility of services, with the aim of reducing abortion-related mortality and morbidity in Uganda.

2015 In Article
OBJECTIVE: Community based evidence on pregnancy outcomes in rural Africa is lacking yet it is needed to guide maternal and child health interventions. We estimated and compared adverse pregnancy outcomes and associated factors in rural south-western Uganda using two survey methods. METHODS: Within a general population cohort, between 1996 and 2013, women aged 15–49 years were interviewed on their pregnancy outcome in the past 12 months (method 1). During 2012–13, women in the same cohort were interviewed on their lifetime experience of pregnancy outcomes (method 2). Adverse pregnancy outcome was defined as abortions or stillbirths. We used random effects logistic regression for method 1 and negative binomial regression with robust clustered standard errors for method 2 to explore factors associated with adverse outcome.  RESULTS: One third of women reported an adverse pregnancy outcome; 10.8 % (abortion = 8.4 %, stillbirth = 2.4 %) by method 1 and 8.5 % (abortion = 7.2 %, stillbirth = 1.3 %) by method 2. Abortion rates were similar (10.8 vs 10.5) per 1000 women and
2014 In Article

Sex workers' need for safe abortion services in Uganda is greater than that of the population of women of reproductive age because of their number of sexual contacts, the inconsistent use of contraception and their increased risk of forced sex, rape or other forms of physical and sexual violence. We sought to understand sex workers' experiences with induced abortion services or post-abortion care (PAC) at an urban clinic in Uganda. We conducted nine in-depth interviews with sex workers. All in-depth interviews were audiotaped, transcribed, translated, computer recorded and coded for analysis. We identified several important programmatic considerations for safe abortion services for sex workers. Most important is creating community-level interventions in which women can speak openly about abortion, creating a support network among sex workers, training peer educators, and making available a community outreach educator and community outreach workshops on abortion.