Four districts in West Nile region are grappling with the
rising cases of teenage pregnancies as families continue battling the effects
of the lockdown. Most of the affected girls are school-going children ranging between 14 to 18 years
of age living with a single parent or relatives.
district has the highest number of teenage pregnancies registered between March
and September with over 7000 cases followed by Zombo with 2186 cases, Pakwach with
1011 cases while Arua comes last with 678 cases. Dr. Alfred Yayi, the Yumbe District
Health Officer, says some of the girls have given up on returning to school and
are roaming around without any parental control.
He says the situation
has been worsened by poor cultural and religious beliefs in Yumbe that ignore
defilement. Samuel Ocaki, the Zombo District Community Development Officer,
says although 2186 cases of teenage pregnancies were registered from the data
compiled from government health facilities, the numbers could be higher given
the fact that many girls have opted to seek antenatal services from private
facilities and Traditional Birth Attendants-TBAs.
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the District Community Development Officer, Patrick Olwor, says many more cases
of teenage pregnancies haven’t been captured. He, however, says they made interventions
to reduce the escalation of the cases.
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that was the challenge,”//
In Arua, Richard
Obia, the District Community Development Officer, says they managed to register
lower numbers compared to other districts because of interventions by government
and Non-Governmental Organisation. “Though Arua’s total number is a little
lower, a lot more needs to be done to reduce it further,” said Obia.
Avubieng, the Arua District Police Community Liaison Officer for Greater Arua,
says many defilement cases remain unreported as some communities have resulted
to our court settlements. He, however, warns parents and relatives of dire consequences
if found to have settled defilement cases outside the provisions of the