By Lalam Gloria

GULU-The Ministry of Health is working out ways of encouraging young women and girls to go for antenatal services by introducing group antenatal module in three health facilities in Gulu district and training of health workers is set.

Dennis Tabula, a national trainer under the ministry says this is to rubbish out the traditional module of antenatal where pregnant mothers sit together regardless of their ages which hinders attendance. He added that the group shall focus on young people of ages 10 -19 years and young women ages 20- 24 years and the group shall be categorized according to ages for the young mothers to open up freely, according to their gestation period and psychosocial issues and components.

According to Tabula the groups shall be of 6 to 12 members and services are geared towards the ages and gestation period. Secondly, the young mothers who are positive living with HIV/ AIDS shall exit the group after 18 months and the negative living shall exit the group after 1 year. The group shall have a team leader and they will be able to take up their weight, Height and BP and a special day is set for them.

The health facilities going to implement this group antenatal module in Gulu district are Awach health centre IV, Layibi Techo health centre III and St. Monica health centre.

Assistant district health officer Gulu, Yoweri Idiba, welcomed the program and said Gulu district has 23% of adolescents who attend antenatal and 33% that contribute to the age group of 20- 23 years and this program is of great help to Gulu district.

He requested the ministry to code the new registry that is going to be used for registering the groups to make it legal if it has been approved by Parliament of Uganda for use. It will be easy to punish those who shall defy by the law of Uganda.

Yoweri also requested the ministry to avail Job Aid forms to be provided to all the health facilities including health center-twos.

The group antenatal was piloted in May 2018 in 33 health facilities and was evaluated last two months and was supported by PEFA and World Health Organization and is now at implementation.End