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Teen Pregnancies on the Rise in Kabale

mmaculate Mandela, the acting Kabale District Health Officer, says 1637 out of 10,510 mothers who delivered in the district last year were teenagers between 10 and 19 years.

Audio 6

Local leaders in Kabale district are alarmed by the rising number of teenage pregnancies. Immaculate Mandela, the acting Kabale District Health Officer, says 1637 out of 10,510 mothers who delivered in the district last year were teenagers between 10 and 19 years.

 

 

He says 1251 out of the 9313 mothers who turned up at various health centers in the same time for postnatal care were teenagers. According to Mandela, because most of the teenagers don't have love for their babies, they don't provide them sufficient food, which has led to severe malnutrition.

 

 

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Vastine Beyendera, the Kabale District Inspector of Schools, says they are overwhelmed by the number of underage girls dropping out of school due to pregnancy.

 

 

Beyendera says the increase in teenage pregnancies is caused by poverty in most families in the district, which forces young girls to engage in premarital sex with hungry boys and boda boda riders in an exchange for money.

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Elly Maate, the Kigezi Region Police spokesperson, says they face difficulties in arresting and prosecuting suspects implicated for impregnating underage girls due to lack of substantial evidence. 

 

Maate says both the victims and their parents shy away from providing information that can help in the arrest and prosecution of the suspects.

 

 

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Jenifer Sibo Rukundo, the Kabale District Information Officer, says the district probation office registered 132 cases of teenage pregnancies last year.  She says the district has patterned with some organizations to ensure all the children are registered and given birth certificates.

She says that this will help in determining the exact age of the victims in order to get a base of arresting and prosecuting the suspects who always impregnate them.

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Active Ninshaba, a resident of Kitohwa in Kaharo Sub County is a teenage mother. Ninshaba says she was seduced and impregnated by a married man two years ago while in primary six.

 

 

 

According to Ninshaba, on realizing she is pregnant, the man fled the village fearing arrest. Ninshaba says she delivered through caesarean section at Rugarama hospital after dropping out of school.

 

 

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In March 2016, Justus Tushabomwe, the then Rwamucucu Sub County Chairperson was arrested for allegedly defiling and impregnating a 16- year-old secondary school student.

 

The victim was a senior three student at Kihanga Secondary School in the same sub county. Tushabomwe allegedly called the victim to pick a letter from his office and deliver it to her school head teacher and turned against her.

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