The ministry of health in collaboration with the Youth Focal Point 2020, Uganda Youth Alliance for Family Planning and Adolescent Health (UYAFPAH) have developed the ‘google contraception maps’ with hope to increase young people’s knowledge and access to services especially contraceptives of their choice from their nearest facilities.
Dr Robert Mutumba, a principle medical officer in the Reproductive and Infant Health Division at the Health Ministry says the Covid-19 pandemic has slowed down access to contraceptives, and led teenage pregnancies.
“Many of these young people were out of school; we saw the religious settings also being closed. Also, access to health facilities became complicated to many of the young people but also women of the reproductive age 15-49 years were not able to access these contraceptives when they were available in stock,” he said.
He revealed that an impact assessment was undertaken to find out the main problems affecting young people and lack of information on sexual and reproductive health was spotted as the main issue.
Phyllis Patience Nanyondo, project officer at UYAFPAH noted the google contraceptive maps will empower the youth with information about these services. said,
“When there was lockdown, there came the rise of the internet where many went to it to do their work. Most youth have at least a smart phone and can access the internet. So, we decided to come up with a way a young person can be able to access the services and the information on their smart phone; the google contraceptive maps.”
“These maps are divided in divisions, and we basically looked at the youth in Kampala especially in Kawempe, Makindye and Nakawa divisions. So, any youth within those divisions can be able to go to their smart phones and type in the ‘Google contraceptive availability’ in any of those three divisions and the maps will come. They will be able to see the health facilities, products and services as well.
Dr Mutumba highlighted on the services available in health facilities.
“When you move to these facilities, you expect to find a wide range of contraceptives. The key guidance is a method mix like pills, injectables, implants, intrauterine devices (IUDs) and adequate counselling on which method you are going to use before you make a choice,” he said.
Anne-Alan Sisomu, adolescent and youth SRH program specialist at UNFPA said,
“Being able to continuously reach different young people in different circumstances and geographical areas and within their different tests should be part and parcel of our openness to ensure that we innovate, try out to end teenage pregnancies,”
The project has been funded by United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA).