What you need to know:
- Cases of teenage pregnancies in the Teso sub-region are at 31 per cent, which is much higher than the national figure which stands at 25 per cent.
As Uganda today joins the rest of the world to mark World Population Day in Kumi District, Teso sub-region, leaders are concerned about rising cases of early marriage and teenage pregnancies.
Cases of teenage pregnancies in the Teso sub-region are at 31 per cent, which is much higher than the national figure which stands at 25 per cent.
The Kapelebyong District Chairperson, Mr Francis Akorikin, attributed the rising cases to the Covid-19 pandemic, parental negligence, lack of sexual education, lack of government will to stop the vice, and poverty among others.
"For the last two years, the situation especially in Kapelebyong has not been pleasing, and it's worrying us," he said during the regional district leaders' meeting in Kumi District over the weekend.
He stated that out of 100 expectant mothers that visit health facilities, 28 of them are teenagers, advising his counterparts to prioritise empowering community development departments to sensitise the population.
The Kumi District Chairman, Mr Nelson Lakol Elungat, noted that as leaders, they are engaging in mechanisms that can curb the issue, because it may lead to a higher population which the government will fail to cater for.
"We are considering having ordinances and by-laws that are in line with the Constitution to help us curb early marriages. It’s unfortunate that some parents look at their daughters as a source of income. The local leaders should be able to report to relevant authorities when a family in their vicinities marries an underage girl such that action can be taken," he said.
The Executive Director of Reproductive Health Uganda, Mr Jackson Chekweko, said that out of 338 maternal mortality cases in the country, 50 per cent are teenage mothers.
"If we reduce on the teenage pregnancies, we shall also have reduced on the maternal mortality rate in the country," Mr Chekweko said.
He advised the government to make sexual reproductive services available in the region for easy access by young children.