Refugee communities receive family planning counselling in Adjumani district

By Monica Dai and Nicholas Otto

As of November 30, 2021, the Adjumani area is home to 241,154 refugees, out of a total of 1,563,604 in Uganda.

Many ethnic groups, especially the Dinka, Nuer, Madi, and the Luos believe that women should not have access to contraception, resulting in unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions.

The concept that as many children as possible must be produced to replace those lost in conflict.

One of the guys in one of the talks held in Ayiri, Ukusijoni Sub County, stated that Family Planning is a Ugandan effort to prevent them from having children, but that they continue to lose many people throughout the fighting in southern Sudan.

All women have the right to safe sexual and reproductive health and rights, including the right to choose whether or not to have children, according to Article 33 of Uganda’s 1995 constitution.

Duom Manyok showed up with an incomplete abortion at the Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) Adjumani Clinic on one of the service days.

She claims a coworker told her about an over-the-counter medicine she could use to end the pregnancy.

She claims she did this because her husband, a soldier due to return from Sudan in December, would kill her if he found out she had had a child with someone else.

She has never used contraception before and, out of fear of being labeled promiscuous, she is unable to obtain one even when her husband is not there.

Nakyazze Aisha, a Service Provider who attended to the client at the clinic, counseled her on contraceptive use, and Duom left satisfied with an IUD installed after the Post Abortion Care, she after brought two of her friends to receive contraceptive technique two weeks later as a delighted client.

These realities, according to Aisha, are factual, but they are overlooked by the community since it is assumed that women only keep themselves for their partners.

Monthly discussions with communities are held as part of the DANIDA-MOFA initiative, which supports RHU Adjumani Clinic, to engage with both the host and refugee communities to address their concerns about the negative belief limiting women access to contraception.