Close to 2,000 underage
girls in Kitgum district have reportedly been impregnated during the lockdown. Statistics
from the District Probation Department indicate that close to 1,028 girls aged
between 10 to 19 years sought antenatal services at Kitgum General Hospital and
other health facilities in the district between March and
However, Michael Ogweng, the Senior Kitgum District Probation Officer, says the
figure is far less than the actual number of cases because the district Health
Information System survey doesn’t capture data from private health facilities
and those presumed to have eluded antenatal care at public health facilities.
the breakdown, 167 girls were reported pregnant within the in March alone, 157
in April, 153 in May, 157 in June, 189 in July and 172 in August while 48 girls
sought antenatal care in September. Orom, Layamo and Omiya Anyima sub-counties
reported the highest number of teenage pregnancies having registered 149, 115
and 100 respectively over the past seven months.
Other sub counties include Labongo Akwang that registered 94 cases, Namukora 84
cases, Mucwini 83, Central Division 80, Kitgum Matidi 62, Labongo Amida and
Pandwong Division both with 60 cases each, Labongo Layamo with 49 and Pager
division with 44 cases.
Ogweng attributes the overwhelming number of teenage pregnancies to peer
influence; poor parenting coupled with high levels of ignorance, poverty and desire
for bride price by some parents particularly in the rural areas.
Luo audio//Cue in;
“ka in ineno...
Cue out...neno ne enoni.//
Kitgum District Chairperson, Jackson Omona, says the overwhelming cases of
teenage pregnancies are worrying. He calls for urgent intervention from
different stakeholders, saying left unabated the vice could compromise the
pursuit of education among school-going girls in the district.
He faults parents and community members for abandoning
their roles and responsibilities of guiding the young girls.
Cue out....in the district.//
Cue out....goke kwede.”//
Omona says the district has instituted a 30 member village committee and
recruited para-social workers and community development officers to inform the
populace on the dangers of early sexual practices, cross-generational
relationships and unwanted pregnancies.