Global Research Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology

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Integrating Women’s Reproductive Health rights in the decentralized health care delivery in Uganda

Edith M. Okiria PhD




Accepted 22nd May, 2014


Health experts say if unmet need for contraceptives were satisfied, maternal mortality would drop by 40 per cent, and unplanned pregnancies and induced abortions would decline by 84 per cent. The current emphasis on reproductive health (RH) in population programs began years ago when human rights and women's health advocates began to question the rationale of traditional policies that mainly focused on reducing population growth through the provision of family planning services (Dixon-Mueller, 1993 Sinding and Ross, 1994).  Women’s Reproductive health needs in Uganda are not adequately met causing persistently high maternal mortality rates estimated at 345 deaths per 100,000. Although there is growing support for integrated reproductive health services that include (F/P, HIV and AIDS, Immunization etc), efforts to improve women’s health have continued to focus on reproductive health care with limited focus on reproductive health rights. Reproductive health rights examined included access to RHS, Information, Privacy and decision making.   A non- experimental exploratory study design was used to examine how local governments are integrating women’s reproductive health rights in the decentralised health care delivery. Methods of data collection included, key informant interviews, Exit pols, document reviews and observations with 84 respondents. Limited access to education or employment, high illiteracy rates and increasing poverty levels and generally women’s health improvement is still a challenge to government.  The overall goal of the study was to assess the extent to which reproductive health rights are being integrated into the decentralized health services delivery in two districts in Uganda.


Keywords: Reproductive health right, maternal mortality, unplanned pregnancies and induced abortions