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Emphasise Education on Sexuality Among Youth - Population Secretariat

The Population Secretariat is calling for an emphasis on sexuality education and sexual reproductive health for teenagers as a way of reducing teenage pregnancies.

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The Population Secretariat is calling for an emphasis on sexuality education and sexual reproductive health for teenagers as a way of reducing teenage pregnancies.

This is in response to glaring statistics indicating that cases of teenage pregnancies are on the rise in Uganda.

 According to the Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS) 2011, the rate of teenage pregnancies is at 24% which are said to contribute to high deaths among mothers, placed at 16 every month.

Out of the numbers of teenage pregnancies, 18% have already given birth, while 6% are carrying their first child.

 

And now the Population Secretariat wants prevention and treatment of HIV/Aids, sexually transmitted diseases, contraception, maternal health services and post abortion care emphasised in schools and public fora.

Hannington Burunde, the Head of Information and Communication at the Population Secretariat, suggests that teenage girls should be able to access information and services, while those who cannot continue schooling should be supported to engage in other forms of technical education.

He said that most parents look at their daughters as commodities and the amount of money they could fetch if married off.

In an interview with Uganda Radio Network at a recent forum on Media Advocacy on Population issues, Burunde called for a youth-friendly environment, where teenagers can be counselled in a sensitive, non discriminatory and non-judgemental way.

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While responding to questions on the subject Lilliane Luwaga, a Reproductive Health Educationist at the Ministry of Health, said these statistics indicate that many young people in Uganda are not aware of how they can live a responsible life through adapting reproductive healthy behaviours.

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According to Luwaga, teenagers are likely to develop health complications while giving birth as their bodies are not ready for child bearing.

Burunde noted that although this approach could work in trying to reduce on teenage pregnancies and ensure that girls stayed long in schools, there is still adequate infrastructure and trained personnel that can handle teenagers or provide essential services on reproductive health.

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