Stock-outs of family planning supplies at public health facilities limit their use – Survey
Stock-outs of family planning commodities at service delivery points have limited uptake of these services, according to the National Family Planning Performance Monitoring for Action (PMA) Survey.
Stock-outs have been reported in numbers among long-acting reversible contraceptive (LARC) methods such as implants and intrauterine devices (IUDs). The survey was conducted nationwide among all women aged 15-49 by Makerere University School of Public Health from September to November 2021.
“In public structures, the stock of IUDs stood at 66% and about 8% were either out of stock at the time of the survey of the previous three months. For implants, 21% were out of stock in the past three months and 9% were out of stock at the time of our survey,” explained survey team leader Dr Fredrick Makumbi during the results dissemination and dialogue meeting on Tuesday.
He noted that for injectables, 71% of facilities had a supply at the time of the survey, but 18% had run out.
He alluded to a case in the Mityana area of a non-study participant who was unable to access implants from a certain facility for the past two months.
For oral contraceptive pills, Dr. Makumbi noted that nearly half of the facilities were out of stock, either at the time of the survey or within the last three months.
Asking about the causes of stockouts, the researchers found that many of them were supply-related.
“44.6% of establishments said they ordered but did not receive delivery, 20.4 ordered but did not receive the correct quantities, 3.1 ordered but not the correct quantities, 5.7% ordered no placements, 2.8 were caused by COVID-19 disruptions, 10.5 didn’t know and 3.3 for others But let’s not miss the 9.6% who said they had a unexpected increase in consumption,” the results state.
Other findings established that the proportion of women using family planning is 40% and the proportion of married women using a family planning method is currently 50.2%. The proportion of married women using modern family planning methods was 43%.
However, Dr Simon Peter Kibira, co-team leader and lecturer in the Department of Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, noted that there is a challenge in the quality of services provided.
“In the data, only 43% of women were told about side effects. We also see that among women who do not use modern family planning methods, we have a little trouble because only 20% intend to use them in the future, and yet we see that pregnancies not desired are very high,” Dr. Kibira said.
He added: “We have to work hard around this making sure we have commodities but also working on ideation and making sure that those who consume continue to consume so that every couple can have a child. that he wishes to have.”
Health experts explored strategies to increase access to and use of family planning services.
Dr. Jotham Musinguzi, Chairman of the Board of the National Medical Stores (NMS), called family planning and reproductive health a “conveyor belt” that determines enormously the development of the country.
He added that with the rapid reduction in fertility levels, the country will benefit from the demographic dividend.
Dr Betty Kyadondo, Director of Family Health at the National Population Council, remarked: “We need to work more with community health workers (CHWs) and village health teams (VHTs), especially if we want to increase family planning services”.
She added that the private sector is vital to provide such services and this will improve efficiency.
Meanwhile, to address the problem of stock-outs, the Deputy Commissioner for Reproductive and Child Health in the Ministry of Health, Dr Richard Mugahi, said: “The redistribution mechanism is one of our biggest assets to deal with stock-outs and it has worked quite well in some countries. districts and we expect it to work better now that we have at least two pickups in each district.
He added, “We will now be able to provide reproductive health supplies to private health facilities as long as they are registered, recognized by the districts. There is a form they fill out that goes to the Department of Health so they can get these supplies from the Joint Medical Store (JMS).
Due to the high use of injectables, the Ministry of Health is promoting self-injection of DMPA-SC (Sayana Press), a family planning product it intends to develop.