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Luwero Scales Up Family Planning Services As 17,470 Teenagers Get Pregnant

Joyce Namigadde, the Luwero District Probation Officer explains that the rampant teenage pregnancies are a result of abject poverty in homes, domestic violence, lack of parental guidance, and prolonged lockdown triggered by COVID-19 among other factors.
File photo; A resident seeking general health services at an outreach organised at Bamunanika Health Center 111

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Luwero district has started promoting family planning services following a surge in teenage pregnancies. According to the Luwero district health department, at least 17,470 girls below the age of 19 years got pregnant in the year 2021/22. 

Of these 121 girls were below 15 years of age. The report indicates an increase in the number of teenage pregnancies from 16,163 girls who got pregnant in 2020/21. Luwero town council registered 3101 cases, followed by Katikamu sub-county with 2217 cases and Bombo town council with 1399 cases. 

Joyce Namigadde, the Luwero District Probation Officer explains that the rampant teenage pregnancies are a result of abject poverty in homes, domestic violence, lack of parental guidance, and prolonged lockdown triggered by COVID-19 among other factors.

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Dr. Innocent Nkonwa, the Luwero District Health Officer says that due to the increase in teenage pregnancies, they have resolved to scale up family planning services among young mothers to enable them to delay pregnancies and raise the kids they already have.

Nkonwa says that they have embarked on dialogues with leaders so as to encourage them to break the silence on teenage pregnancies as well as arrange safe spaces for girls to talk about issues that affect them.

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Fatumah Nakalyango, the Luwero District Youths Female Councillor welcomed the promotion of family planning among teenagers, saying that this will help stop unwanted pregnancies and the risks associated with them. Nakalyango however warned that this must be done only among girls who have already given birth to avoid misuse.

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Sumayiya Kirabo, a parent says that although family planning services are timely there are still fears that these may escalate sexual activities among young girls because they will no longer fear pregnancies. Kirabo says that the focus must be put on ensuring that girls are sensitized not to get pregnant and stay in school.

Eric Musaazi, the Director of Team Uganda, says that they have opened up five safe spaces where 100 girls have been enrolled to acquire skills, limit unnecessary movements during holidays and share experiences in a move to avoid teenage pregnancies.

According to the Luwero district health department, at least 78,442 teenagers sought contraceptives in the financial year 2020/21. The report indicates that the most sought-after contraceptives by teenagers were injectable Depo Provera, implants for 3-5 years while the Intrauterine devices were the least demanded.   

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