Modern family planning practices of adolescent mothers to avoid further unwanted pregnancies: a case of Katanga slum Kampala district
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Family Planning services are one of the basic and important strategies for reducing high risk pregnancies, complications during pregnancy and childbirth. However, the unmet need among adolescent girls remain high despite Uganda’s committed to scaling up the use of modern family planning methods to ensure that every Ugandan woman can choose when and how many children to have. This study was set out to explore the modern family planning practices of adolescent mothers to avoid further unwanted pregnancies in Katanga Slum in Kampala district with specific objectives of identifying the modern family planning methods used by adolescent mothers, identify the constraints faced in accessing modern family planning methods and identify the strategies used to access modern family planning methods amidst the constraints. The study utilized a descriptive design and was purely qualitative. A sample of sixteen adolescent mothers was recruited from Katanga slum in Kampala. Then four Key Informants (two community health workers and two health workers from Marie Stopes). The data from the in-depth interviews and key informant interviews was analyzed thematically. The study found that most adolescent mothers were using modern family planning methods of implants, injectable, condoms, pills and IUD to prevent unwanted pregnancies. The adolescent mothers also faced the constraints of negative attitude/disapproval by partner, misconceptions, stigma associated with the use of contraceptives, shortage of family planning methods/Unavailability of preferred method, fear of side effects, Distance to health facilities where the adolescent mothers can’t be identified, Negative attitude by health service providers, negative religious beliefs, financial constraints and lack of proper knowledge about family planning methods while accessing modern family planning methods. Lastly, adolescent mothers adopted some strategies to increase access to modern family planning methods amidst the constraints and these included going to government hospitals, using without the knowledge of their partners and waiting for outreach services from Non-profitable organizations. There is need for health care agencies and family planning programs to target the involvement of men in family planning education and sensitization programs. Further researchers should involve male respondents to take into account their responses.