USHAPE continues efforts to improve family planning outreach and delivery

Catherine Clarke


USHAPE parent consultation

Parents hear from USHAPE educators during a hillside consultation.

National Context

Sexual Health in Uganda

USHAPE: Training and Outreach

Over the last year, we have shared the successes of USHAPE (Uganda Sexual Health & Pastoral Education) in its continued efforts to provide quality training in family planning service provision using the Training Resources Package (TRP). In 2015, we noted USHAPE’s adaptations the TRP and its use in two training programs at the Bwindi Community Hospital to build knowledge among family planning service providers and expand the ability of providers to deliver services to the community.

Since then, USHAPE has expanded its efforts to promote family planning training using the TRP at Kisiizi Hospital in rural Uganda. This effort involved detailed screening for unmet need for contraception, training of staff in Levels 1 and 2 using TRP materials and a comprehensive assessment of the barriers to access and use of family planning services.

Now, USHAPE is proud to report that graduates of its programs have continued to promote positive messages about family planning to the surrounding communities, including outreach tailored to schools and youth. Details of the USHAPE training cascade are provided in the recently published USHAPE Community Report which reports that to date, USHAPE has provided:

  • Annual training to more than 250 village health teams 
  • Regular training for 60 teachers
  • Conference discussions for 120 attendees interested in sex education
  • Youth outreach sessions for more than 2,500 adolescents and young adults
  • Sugar Daddy awareness lessons for 900 students

Adolescent participation

Youth participate in USHAPE programming

USHAPE's trainings continue to provide interactive lessons that equip participants with knowledge, skills and confidence in family planning counselling, referrals, and service delivery. In August of 2016, USHAPE trained staff ran three one-day training workshops for village health workers in rural areas. Targeting 156 health workers in total, the training developed participants' knowledge family planning methods, clarified referral mechanisms, and helped participants to identify both the barriers to contraceptive use and potential solutions to offer in counselling. USHAPE adds that the trainings were received with enthusiasm, particularly for the hands-on, interactive nature of the program elements.

USHAPE has also increased its efforts to reach youth and children who are not only more vulnerable to complications in pregnancy and childbirth, but are also vulnerable to pressure from influential adults. Youth outreach sessions are run on Sunday afternoons in rural churches during each of the school holidays allowing USHAPE nurses to directly answer young people’s questions about menstruation, contraception and sexual infections and HIV. USHAPE has also worked to train and support schools in the Kanungu District with male and female teachers who can provide students accurate information on sexual health and act appropriately to safeguard children at risk from 'Sugar Daddies.' Alongside this intervention, 'Sugar Daddy' awareness lessons target school aged children with education about the risk of being sexually exploited by adults. Students also participated in open discussions about sexual health, promoting a positive attitude towards sexual education.

In January of 2017, USHAPE is planning to conduct a Training The Trainers course to develop a pool of Ugandan USHAPE trainers who can provide training in family planning using modified TRP materials in their own hospitals. This process marks the next step in expanding the reach of USHAPE initiatives to promote quality family planning education with culturally appropriate materials.

The USHAPE team are keen to spread their implementation model of family planning curriculum delivery which involves a whole institution approach combined with cascade training. They are happy to share the resources they have adapted from the TRP which they think have wide applicability in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. If you are looking to run short family planning courses, to upskill clinicians in low resource countries, as family planning providers, please get in contact through the USHAPE website.

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