Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) has started a campaign to rid the
Acholi Sub-region of teenage pregnancies.
On Thursday, the clerics said that teenage pregnancy is retarding the
development, growth, future, and health of young girls in the country.
Statistics from different health departments and civil societies indicate a
high prevalence of teenage pregnancies in the area stating that it spiked
during the covid-19 lockdown. The
numbers recorded between the years 2019 and 2021 put the number at
The majority are school girls who were home due to the closure of all learning
institutions in the country.
The clerics under the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda (IRCU) on Thursday converged
at Golden Peace Hotel in Gulu City seeking to identify problems affecting
development in the area and how the government and all stakeholders can be
tasked to address them.
They unanimously agreed that teenage pregnancies require a concerted
effort to get rid of them.
Khalil, the Acting Northern Regional Deputy Mufti says that all clerics have
been tasked to preach against teenage pregnancies during masses and services.
Khalil explained that the constant message against teenage pregnancies and
early marriage will be extended to all gatherings within different locations
where the clerics will be invited to officiate.
//Cue in: ‘’man wan ma…
Cue out: …ma nongo orwate.’’//
Reverend Margaret Aciro, of the Pentecostal Churches of Uganda, noted that they
will incorporate sexual education and spiritual holiness in their preaching to
instill discipline and morality among young people.
Rev. Aciro added that regular conferences and engagements with young people
will also be organized to pass sexual education, healthy lifestyles, and
experience sharing from survivors of sexual abuse.
//Cue in: ‘’wan ma calo…
Cue out: …kare gi mako.’’//
John Baptist Odama of Gulu Catholic Diocese on the other hand noted that all religious
leaders will be tasked to play roles within their different capacities.
Through IRCU, the clerics also noted that the resolution will be tabled before
the different government agencies to have them incorporated into their policies
as part of the national action plan.
In order to ensure the success of the initiative, the clerics have been joined
by the Uganda Aids Commission and UN Women.
Gloria Anena, a Senior Clinical Officer and Deputy Administrator of Lalogi
Health Centre IV told URN in a recent interview that 50% of children brought to
the health facility have some level of malnutrition.
The children are mostly mothered by teenagers who can neither fend for
themselves nor have the basic skills for taking good care of young babies.
Among them is a 16-year-old girl in Gulu City who says she was raped by a
The teenage mother who only identified herself as Atim was in primary six in
one of the schools in their area last year when she was victimized in June last
Atim comes from a poor family and is under the care of a disabled father, she
teary told URN that she can hardly provide for her one-year-old baby boy born
from sexual abuse.