Let Clinical Officers Perform Tubal Ligation

The Marie Stopes country director, Dr Deepmala Mahla, has urged government to scale up the training of clinical officers at national level to enable them perform tubal ligations.

Tubal ligation is a birth control surgical procedure a woman undergoes to have her fallopian tubes blocked with clips or rings, to prevent pregnancy.

It is currently performed by gynaecologists and because there is a 62 per cent shortage of such health professionals, according to the ministry of Health publication, Human Resources for Health, the services elude some women who need them.

“We need an addendum in the current sexual and reproductive health law to protect clinical officers who carry out tubal ligation and the curriculum needs to be expanded so that they are also trained in these long-term family planning methods,” said Mahla.

She said this during a breakfast meeting between Marie Stopes and MPs to discuss the safety and acceptability of clinical officers performing tubal ligations in rural settings, at Serena hotel on Thursday. Marie Stopes-Uganda has so far trained 25 clinical officers who carried out 48,500 tubal ligations in 2013 and vasectomies for men.

In Uganda, 34 per cent of married women have an unmet need for family planning services including 14 per cent who do not wish to have any more children. During a trial carried out in central, eastern, western and northern Uganda between March and June 2012, it was demonstrated that clinical officers, after training, can safely carry out tubal ligations.

Clinical officers carried out tubal ligations on 518 women and reported a 1.5 per cent complication rate, better than Bangladesh with 5.5 per cent and Thailand, 1.6 per cent. Dr Kenneth Omona, chairperson for the parliamentary committee on Health, said training of clinical officers would increase uptake of family planning among women, thus reducing the family planning gap – currently at 34 per cent.

Source : The Observer

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