Health experts have called upon government to prioritise Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in all phases of the Covid-19 fight.
The remarks were made during the the national e-conference on reproductive health in pandemics.
The conference was relayed live on NBS television on Thursday.
SRHR is the concept of human rights applied to sexuality and reproduction. It is a combination of four fields that in some contexts are more or less distinct from each other, but less so or not at all.
SRHR are fundamental human rights that are currently being denied or restricted in many parts of the world.
SRHR include issues like abortion, HIV and other STIs, maternal health and rights, contraceptive access, gender-based violence, discrimination and stigma among others.
Achieving SRHR for all supports equality, contributes to women, girls, and others who are discriminated against living the lives they want, and helps build communities that are healthy, safe, just, and thriving.
The director family health at the National Population Council, Betty Kyadondo, said we have an opportunity in the increasing partnerships and coalitions in dealing with reproductive health but there is no single organisation that can deliver the task on its own.
She said there is need to continue spreading awareness of SRHR services where parents are brought on board.
“The pandemic caused serious threats to women and girls’ work. They have experienced serious economic shocks leaving them vulnerable to sexual exploitation,”she noted.
Kyadondo said the closure of outlets and mobile public clinics are a blow to SRHR services access adding that the outreaches have also failed to kickstart.
Dr. Charles Olaro,the director curative services in the ministry of Health said government is committed to ensure that both mothers and babies are safe during delivery.
“There is a need to bring men in the SRHR solutions. They need to change from being the problems to being the solutions.The pandemic found Uganda grappling with maternal and infant mortality and teenage pregnancies,”said Olaro.
He said Covid-19 has put a set back on SRHR because the pandemic brings long-term and heavy burdens on public health systems.