Dr. Christopher Kiyita, the Bundibugyo District Health Officer-DHO, says that the victims are at the risk of developing health complications including fistula as a result of producing before their bodies are fully developed.
She highlighted a report of the African Peer Review Mechanism which attributed 10 per cent of maternal mortality to teenage pregnancies and a United Nations Children Fund -UNICEF report on teenage pregnancy in Uganda that revealed that 1in 4 of the 19-year-old girls have had a baby putting their lives at risk and forcing them to drop out of school.
Susan Abeja, the Otuke District Woman MP believes that the girls should be given a chance to continue studying even after giving birth. She says as leaders, they will make sure that the girls receive the necessary support they require at school.
Statistics from the district health, education, probation and social welfare departments show that from July 2020 to August 2021 6,440 girls aged between 15 and 19 years are reported pregnant in the district.
The medical condition comes as a result of a hole created between the birth canal and bladder and the rectum, caused by prolonged, obstructed labour. It leaves women leaking urine, faeces or both, and often leads to chronic medical problems, depression, social isolation and deepening poverty.
Monica Muhumuza Nzeirwe, Kabale District Probation Officer revealed to our reporter on Friday afternoon that her office has recorded 2,467 cases of girls aged under 18 who were impregnated since March 2020.
“Dear parents, you have a very big role to play; a very big one, the role of mentoring these children from young age upto the time they are big and even then, when you see them doing wrong things, challenge them because you still have power, don’t underestimate your power!” -Archbishop Odama said
Girls say most parents have exhibited a high level of negligence especially in providing necessities for them. As a result, they are compelled to engage in unhealthy relationships in search of gifts that lure them to engage into sexual relationships leading to teenage pregnancy and disease
The finding is based on a survey conducted in August 2020, among 2,500 adolescent boys and young men aged between 10 and 24, across the five divisions of Kampala. The study involved both school-going and out of schoolboys and young men.
According to the report, Katakwi Town Council leads with 190 cases, followed by Magoro with 188, Usuk Sub County 177, Katakwi Sub County 137, Ongongoja Sub County with 115 cases, Ngariam 89, Kapujan 87 and Omodoi 100 while Palam Sub County registered the least number with eleven cases.
Emmanuel Elimu, the Senior Probation Officer Bukedea District, says the figures were extracted from Police and antenatal visits in various Health facilities covering the period between April and September this year.
Zenar Nasur, the Luweero District Education Secretary, says most of the teenagers were lured into sex after being left alone at home by their parents. She explains that most of the affected girls live with their grandparents and guardians who exercise little control over them, which gives them leeway to engage in irresponsible sexual behavior with their peers or male adults.
Pader district acting Education Officer Francis Olwoch says that of the 800 cases of teenage pregnancy in the district, 168 were primary and secondary school-going girls, according to the statistics obtained from 36 government health facilities where the teenagers had reported for antenatal services.
Janet Amuge, the Officer in Charge of the Child and Family Protection Unit at Kaberamaido Police Station, says they received information around 4:30 PM on Sunday regarding a child found crying alone in a nearby bush.