USHAPE (Uganda Sexual Health and Public Education) is a family planning programme designed to take into account the specific challenges of rural Uganda. USHAPE follows a “whole institution approach”, meaning all staff at a healthcare institution receive family planning training, at an appropriate level, whether they are clinicians or other hospital staff. In addition, family planning providers receive skills training and support to deliver family planning services and undertake family planning educational talks in local communities.
The Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau (UPMB) has accredited the USHAPE programme, and the Trust is working with UPMB at Bwindi Community Hospital and Kisiizi Hospital. Bwindi Community Hospital is situated on the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, which is home to endangered chimpanzees and gorillas. One of the key threats to these endangered species is habitat encroachment resulting from barriers to family planning services which lead to higher rates of population growth. Kisiizi Hospital is a further UPMB hospital, and boasts a breeding pair of Grey Crowned Cranes in its grounds, a further endangered species impacted by habitat encroachment.
Plans are currently underway with Rugarama Hospital, the Endangered Wildlife Trust and the International Crane Foundation (through their joint programme, the African Crane Conservation Programme), to develop a new project around the wetlands of Kabale in south-west Uganda. Our work will integrate USHAPE family planning training and alternative and sustainable livelihood generation activities, to improve both human and ecosystem health.