Joyce Namigadde, the Luwero District Probation Officer explains that the rampant teenage pregnancies are a result of abject poverty in homes, domestic violence, lack of parental guidance, and prolonged lockdown triggered by COVID-19 among other factors.
Luwero district has started promoting family planning
services following a surge in teenage pregnancies. According to the Luwero district health department, at least 17,470
girls below the age of 19 years got pregnant in the year 2021/22.
Of these 121
girls were below 15 years of age. The
report indicates an increase in the number of teenage pregnancies from 16,163 girls who got pregnant in
2020/21. Luwero town council registered 3101 cases, followed by Katikamu sub-county with 2217 cases and Bombo town council with 1399 cases.
Joyce Namigadde, the Luwero District Probation Officer
explains that the rampant teenage pregnancies are a result of abject poverty in
homes, domestic violence, lack of parental guidance, and prolonged lockdown triggered by COVID-19 among other factors.
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Dr. Innocent Nkonwa, the Luwero District Health Officer says
that due to the increase in teenage pregnancies, they have resolved to scale up family
planning services among young mothers to enable them to delay pregnancies and raise the kids they already have.
Nkonwa says that they have embarked on dialogues with leaders
so as to encourage them to break the silence on teenage pregnancies as well as arrange
safe spaces for girls to talk about issues that affect them.
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Fatumah Nakalyango, the Luwero District Youths Female
Councillor welcomed the promotion of family planning among teenagers, saying that this will help stop
unwanted pregnancies and the risks associated with them. Nakalyango however warned that this must be done only among girls who have already given birth to avoid misuse.
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Sumayiya Kirabo, a parent says that although family
planning services are timely there are still fears that these may escalate sexual
activities among young girls because they will no longer fear pregnancies. Kirabo says that the focus must be put on ensuring that
girls are sensitized not to get pregnant and stay in school.
Eric Musaazi, the Director of Team Uganda, says that they have
opened up five safe spaces where 100 girls have been enrolled to acquire skills,
limit unnecessary movements during holidays and share experiences in a move to
avoid teenage pregnancies.
According to the Luwero district health department, at least 78,442 teenagers sought contraceptives in the financial year 2020/21. The report indicates that the most sought-after contraceptives by teenagers were injectable Depo Provera, implants for 3-5 years while the Intrauterine devices were the least demanded.