Uganda Conducts Health Survey on Women's Health, Violence Against Women

by Medindia Content Team on Aug 24 2007 4:13 PM

The Uganda Bureau of Statistics last week released the Uganda Demographic Health Survey 2006, which found an increase in contraceptive use and the percentage of pregnant women who undergo childbirth at a health facility. The survey also pointed that many women do not receive prenatal or postnatal care, Uganda's New Vision reports.

The survey, which was conducted among 11,000 people, found that 42% of pregnant women in Uganda gave birth at a health care facility last year, compared with 37% in 2000 and 36% in 1995. It also found that 74% of women who had given birth from 2001 to 2006 did not receive postnatal care. About 15% of women who had at least a secondary education received prenatal care from a physician, compared with 8% of women who had only a primary education.

Of the women who gave birth at home, 42% received care from a trained health care provider, and 23% received care from a traditional healer. Ugandan women living in urban areas have an average of 4.4 children during, compared with 7.1 children for Ugandan women living in rural areas, according to the survey.

In addition, the survey found that knowledge about contraceptives is almost universal and that contraception use has doubled in the past 11 years. However, only 25% of married women use contraceptives, 41% of married women reported unmet family planning needs and only 37% of the need for family planning nationwide was met, according to the survey.

The survey found that pregnant women were more likely to receive prenatal and postnatal care, as well as care during childbirth, if they were empowered. Linda Birungi, a service provider with the Family Planning Association of Uganda, said that husbands' attitudes affect their wives access to family planning services.

According to the survey, two-fifths of married women said their husbands made decisions regarding their health care. "Usually, rural women may not have the money to be able to afford [family planning] services," Birungi said, adding, "Without the husband's support, a woman can't access family planning services." Poverty and the distance to family planning clinics also affect women's access, Birungi said.

The survey also found that 70% of women and 60% of men believe there are some situations in which violence against women is justified. The majority of men and women in the country said that a woman is justified in refusing to have sex with her partner if he has a sexually transmitted infection, has had sex with another woman, or if she is too tired or not in the mood, the survey found.

Source-Kaiser Family Foundation