Makerere University has churned out 84 local leaders who are to influence their communities to better their sexual reproductive health.
The 84 influencers, who graduated with diplomas on Saturday from Makerere University School of Public Health, were drawn from Kawempe Division in Kampala and Bulamagi Sub County in Iganga District.
Iganga falls under Busoga region in Eastern Uganda, a region with the highest cases of sexual abuse especially during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The study program started in January this year and had five breaks to allow the participants go back to their villages to counsel families and individuals who were facing domestic violence and reproductive health challenges.
One of the influencers from Iganga, Mr Kisame Jamada, in his testimony, boasted of how the training skills they acquired, had helped them to reduce pregnancy rates back at their places, less misuse of drugs, reduced domestic violence among advantages.
"Once we identified a sexual reproductive health right challenge in the community, we approach that individual and counsel them accordingly and this has yielded results like reduced teenage pregnancies," Mr Kisame testified on the sidelines of the graduation.
The guest of honor, Prof. Okaka Opio in his remarks to the graduants, thanked Makerere University for taking the university to the local people by training them in reproductive health matters.
"There is someone who wrote a paper in 1960s or 70s in Europe about taking the university to the people. But the idea of taking the university had not been easy but Makerere University through this program, has fulfilled it," Prof. Okaka from Lira University hailed Makerere University.
"You are graduating today but I can see you have already created an impact in your areas of having reduced teenage pregnancies and domestic violence." He added.
According to data from the Guttmacher Institute, shows serious gaps in sexual and reproductive health services for adolescent women in Uganda.
It's estimated that 648,000 women aged 15–19 in Uganda are sexually active and do not want a child in the next two years. However, among this group, more than 60% have an unmet need for modern contraception, meaning that they either use no contraceptive method or use a traditional method of contraception.