Key Points

• As of 2008, an estimated 56% of all pregnancies in Uganda are unintended. Unintended pregnancy is highest in the West Nile region (64%) and lowest in the Southwest (49%).

• Seven in 10 women who want to avoid pregnancy either do not practice contraception or use an ineffective (traditional) method. These women have an unmet need for a modern method of family planning.

• Meeting just half of this unmet need would result in 519,000 fewer unintended pregnancies each year, which would lead to 152,000 fewer induced abortions and 1,600 fewer maternal deaths. Women in disadvantaged households and regions currently experience the worst maternal health outcomes and would benefit the most from reducing unmet need.

• If all unmet need for modern methods were satisfied, maternal mortality would drop by 40%, and unplanned births and induced abortions would decline by 84–85%.
• Investing in contraceptive commodities and services to fill all unmet need would result in a net savings of US$112 million (194 billion Ugandan shillings) over what would otherwise be spent on costs associated with unplanned pregnancies and births. For every dollar spent, more than three dollars would be saved.

• All stakeholders, including the Ugandan government, should increase their investment in modern contraceptive services. Particular attention should be paid to meeting the needs of poor Ugandan women to reduce inequalities in access.