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Reproductive Health During The COVID-19 Lockdown- My Experience. #Stories4Health

About two weeks ago, we patiently watched on television as H.E. Museveni declared that the then 46-day long nationwide lock-down would be extended by two more weeks. That was to consolidate the gains achieved in the fight against the spread of the deadly corona-virus disease. Dread was our immediate reaction. Seven weeks of the uncertainty of the nationwide lock-down had already taken their toll on us.  

The nationwide lock-down started on March 20th. My fiancée, a 23-year-old scholar at a nearby University, and I agreed to stay together at my residence in one of Kampala’s middle-class suburbs. We thought we would tighten the bond between us by spending that period together (you know). Freelance work normally keeps me up and down and her studies usually keep her busy too. We had picturesque romantic ideas like binge watching together a litany of series and all that Netflix stuff, cooking together, playing video games, working out together, you name it. However, when the lock-down extension was announced, we kind of suddenly realized the reality of the problems that we were facing.

The lock-down indeed had brought us closer as a couple. However, it had also put a considerable amount of pressure on us as individuals. As a young freelancer, my savings could only sustain us for so long. Deep down, I was worried we were going to run out of good food. Were we ready to eat the posho and beans that the government was giving out as relief food? No! A time was going to come that would require us to think outside the box. Also, as two sexually active young adults, we use dual protection against sexually transmitted bugs and unintended pregnancies. My girlfriend, however, receives her contraception services at their University hospital which is now inaccessible due to transport impingements. In addition, the condoms we had stocked for the lock-down period were almost getting finished. At the time of writing this story, they had finally run out.

Of course we tried seeking for family planning services at our nearest clinic. However, we were surprised that they were not providing any family planning services. We were told they had scaled down to only the medical emergencies and care for those with chronic illnesses. Routine clinics like immunization and family planning services had been halted! Accessing the services of further away clinics would require using some form of public transport which was not possible any longer. We could not even use online drug delivery services because my fiancée’s family planning option (injectaplan) needs to be administered by a healthcare provider. We were in a fix.

We finally decided to settle for the safer option. We agreed to abstain from intercourse until we get contraceptives. It will be hard, but I love my girlfriend, and we are not ready yet to have a baby. It is important that she first graduates, as I also advance my career and develop more skills to become more financially stable.

I wrote this to inspire young people out there to be careful about the sexual choices they make during this COVID-19 quarantine period (and of course even beyond). The quarantine is only here for a while, however, the negative consequences of any bad choices we make can be for a lifetime. #Stories4Health

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Written by Liam the Thinker. (0)

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