In November 2017, the Kanungu District local government, one of Advance Family Planning’s (AFP) focus districts in Uganda, launched its first ever five-year strategic plan for family planning. The plan outlines the district’s priorities for improving family planning from 2016 through 2020.
Located in southwestern Uganda and home to over 250,000 people, Kanungu District has a total fertility rate of six live births per woman compared to the national average 5.4[i], and a contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) of 47%. Nearly one in four Kanungu women wish to avoid pregnancy but do not use contraception, and about 10% of modern method users discontinue during their first year of use.[ii]
In early 2016, AFP local partner Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) facilitated the formation of a family planning district advocacy working group comprised of government officials, religious leaders, and civil society members. Through an AFP SMART facilitation, the working group identified the strategic plan as their key objective and asked the district council, the legislative body for the region, to lead its development with key stakeholders.
The district council approved the strategic plan and its theme, “Effective and efficient provision of family planning services in Kanungu District,” in December 2016 and officially launched the plan on November 3, 2017. The Ministry of Health; AFP local partner Partners in Population and Development, Africa Regional Office; the National Population Council; and UNFPA participated in the launch and committed to support the district as it implements the plan. The strategic plan aims to address five key family planning priorities: improving the uptake of family planning, quality of family planning counseling and services, access to family planning services, efficiency of human resources, and effectiveness of community-based initiatives and marketing for family planning.
Looking ahead, the district local government will mobilize its own resources to implement the plan starting with the ongoing 2017/2018 budgeting process. At the launch of the plan John Kamara, a district councilor, assured the audience of the district's commitment to the implementation of the strategy and called on other stakeholders to be part of the same. “The district has already owned it,” he said. “Therefore, the district has already committed itself for the plan’s implementation.”
RHU and the district advocacy working group will continue to track implementation of the plan and advocate for increased resource allocation and spending for family planning.