JINJA: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 04, 2021
Faith Kyateka, Head of Communications Marie Stopes Uganda said the high rate of teenage pregnancies in Busoga region is worrisome and needed collective intervention by stakeholders.
“There are a number of behavioral barriers for adolescent family planning uptake even when the services are available. And lack of prompt decision making about family planning is an overweighting family planning health risk compared to unplanned pregnancies,” said Kyateka.
She made the remarks during a training workshop for journalists on how to report health stories in Jinja City on Friday
Kyaketa said a number of activities targeted for the adolescents on family planning were unmet because of social norms, stigma, and limited agency in decisions about sex limiting access to services.
She presented a Marie Stopes report that has linked the high rate of teenage pregnancy in parts of Uganda to the closure of education institutions due to the Covid-19 pandemic that limited many social programmes for youths.
The annual report 2020 also highlighted difficulties in accessing family planning commodities by young girls due to scaling back of outreach programmes by service providers.
“Adolescents have faced challenges of transport during the lock-down when they were out of school and lacked information on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights that their parents cannot share openly with them,” it stated.
The situation, the report says, was leading to rampant abortions among the teenagers.
Samuel Balamaga, a Marie Stopes official in-charge of youth and key population said the state of unsafe abortions in Uganda are very high with 314,000 abortions annually.
Balamaga asserted that abortion rate in Uganda is higher than estimated rate for the east African regions as a whole, standing at 34% per women age 15-19 and 5000 deaths annually occur due to unsafe abortions.
United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund global data base 2020 report indicates 1.3m girls marry before 15 years of age.
It is reported that adolescents have the highest rate of abortions which are frequently unsafe, of the 2.5m adolescent girls in Uganda 26% are sexually active and do not want child.