AFIDEP is taking part in Uganda’s National Conference on Family Planning starting today July 28-30, 2014 in Kampala (http://health.go.ug/FPconferenceuganda/). The theme of the conference is: Accelerating social and economic transformation through universal access to voluntary Family Planning. Uganda’s President, H.E. Yoweri Museveni, will open the conference this afternoon from 2pm. The president will also launch the landmark Uganda Demographic Dividend Report. The Report was commissioned by Uganda’s National Planning Authority, and developed by various stakeholders led by AFIDEP.
Dr. Eliya Zulu, AFIDEP’s Executive Director, will be speaking at the conference tomorrow July 29, 2014 on, “Harnessing Demographic Dividend, Global Perspective”.
The conference has been organized by Uganda’s Ministry of Health and UNFPA. In a welcome message, Prof. Anthony Mbonye, the Chair of National Organizing Committee for the Conference, noted that the conference brings stakeholders together to share progress on the achievements gained in implementing the Health Sector Strategic and Investment Plan and adopting the international commitments on Family Planning. He further noted that the conference creates a platform for dialogue and energizes relevant government ministries, departments and agencies, implementing partners to include civil society in a renewed effort to universal access to Voluntary Family Planning and to position family planning as central to national planning and development.
In a welcome message, Uganda’s Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda: Minister of Health, says that during the London Family Planning summit in 2012, the Uganda President, H.E. Yoweri Museveni, demonstrated political and financial commitment towards accelerated efforts to increasing access to family planning services by pledging allocation of $5 million for procurement of Reproductive Health commodities over the next five years commencing FY 2013/14. Thus, this conference is going to take stock of the progress on the commitments as well as chart a way forward for the coming years in regard to plans under Family Planning 2020, which ably relate to the National Development Plan 2010/2011 -2014/2015 and the Vision 2040 for Uganda.
He cautioned though that despite the strong political commitment to reproductive health, the Government of Uganda’s expenditure on health as a percentage of total government budget has averaged at approximately 9%, which is less than the commitment Uganda made at the Abuja Declaration of increasing the percentage expenditure on health to at least 15% of the total national budget. He indicated, however, that the Ugandan government was committed to increasing the budget to the health sector as more resources become available. He reiterated the importance of the conference by noting that the deliberations at the conference will be shared widely for continuous discussions and integration into Uganda’s national development programs.