MOYO. The leaders in Moyo district have been challenged to address the increasing cases of sexual reproductive health (SRH) challenges believed to be one of the key drivers of domestic violence in the district.

The appeal was made on Friday during a performance review meeting held at the district under the women adolescent and young person (WAY Program) with supports from the Danish government through United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Speaking during the meeting, UNFPA program officer for Moyo district Mr Richard Mwesigwa said the WAY program is aimed at improving demand for SRH services with a desire to improve the uptake of SRH services in the communities.

Since the beginning of 2019, five mothers have lost their lives during labour according to records from the district health office.

Uganda’s maternal mortality rate currently stands at 336 per 100,000 live births per year resulting in 15-16 mothers dying daily.

According to Mwesigwa, much as there is an improvement in the maternal mortality rate in Uganda, the numbers are still unacceptably high which requires special interventions to further reduce the figures.

He said more than 80% of the pregnant mothers in the district did not plan for their pregnancy probably due to lack of access to SRH information or as a result of the negative perception of the community towards family planning services in the district.

The ultimate goal of the program is to ensure zero maternal death; zero gender-based violence and zero unmet needs for family planning services.

According to Mr Fred Obot, the program coordinator care Uganda that implements SRH, GBV and Livelihoods programs among refugees and the host population, more is desired to be done in the communities in the areas of SRH and GBV.

Obot revealed that a total of 56 sanitation and health clubs have been formed in 50 primary schools and 6 secondary schools while two teachers have been trained as mentors to handle the projects in the selected schools.

Two safe spaces have also been established in Palorinya refugee settlement in Obongi district to handle services like counseling and referrals in relation to GBV.

The project officer Reach A Hand Uganda, Ms Brenna Akello said information sharing is key if the vices are to be addressed. She noted that issues of alcohol, substance abuse and bride price remain big concerns of the women during their various community dialogues held in the sub-counties.

The assistant district health officer Moyo Mr Michael Adrawa urgued that SRH challenges and gender-based violence can only be addressed at household levels.