Family planning saves lives…

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We ran a staff family planning training course at the hospital a few weeks ago.

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The level 1 course is an hour a day for a week. This is aimed at having a ‘whole institutional approach’ to family planning. It was great that we had a real mix of departments represented, with lots of non-clinical staff members attending e.g. the new HR manager, accounts, IT, the health insurance scheme manager. From the most recent demographic health survey in Uganda they found that the commonest reason women didn’t take modern contraception was fear of side effects. The level 1 course aims to correct the myths around family planning, educate about the main methods of contraception and their side effects and highlight the importance of family planning. We had some very interesting conversations and answered lots of questions that definitely highlighted the need for the course – if there are this many myths believed by staff I can only imagine the beliefs in the community!

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The level 2 course is five full days of advanced family planning teaching. We had a great group of nurses, midwives, the new chaplain and a staff member from records.

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We had some really interesting discussions about whether abortion should be legalised to protect girls against unsafe abortions, whether a husband can always choose when to have sex or whether it’s defined as rape, whether girls under 16yrs old can consent to family planning, men’s views on sex after childbirth and many others. Just when I think I am beginning to understand the culture I discover many more cultural practices and beliefs that are so different from anything I’ve come across before. The world is an interesting place!

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