What you need to know:
The 2011 Uganda Demographic Health Survey report released by Uganda Bureau of Statistics shows that the incidence in West Nile increased from 3.7 per cent in 2006 to 6.6 per cent in 2011.
The rate of teenage pregnancies in the West Nile subregion is on the rise despite the various campaigns against girl child abuse, a new report says. According to the 2011 Uganda Demographic Health Survey report released by Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), the number of teenage mothers in the subregion has increased from 3.7 per cent in 2006 to 6.6 per cent in 2011.
Health authorities are now worried that media campaigns may not be having immediate impact in the fight against the vice. The report also shows that only eight per cent of women in West Nile watch television at least once a week, with 25.6 per cent having access to newspapers in the same period.
The assistant health officer for Maracha District, Mr Sunday Cadribo, said it was high time parents took up their role of sensitising their daughters about sex-related issues. “I know it is a taboo here for parents to talk to their daughters about sex but with this report, it is clear that if we do not tell them, they will still know about it and in a dangerous way,” Mr Cadribo said.
The report further indicates that most women who have had children at tender age, were raped . The survey also notes that the low level of education in the community also contributes to the unwanted behavior among young boys and girls.
Dr Alfred Driwale, the Koboko District health officer, said though there had been several media campaigns, there was no evidence to show that teenagers and parents were taking heed. “I think there is a need for us and the media managers to properly package the information that goes out so that we can get the needed the results,” he said.
The survey, which was carried out from May to December 2011, also shows that there is a gender disparity in terms of education. The disparity in attendance between females and males at secondary school level shows a variation of seven per cent in West Nile in favour of males.
Although the minimum age for a woman to get married is 18 years , marriage among young girls in the region is a common practice. Of the 127 women interviewed, 26.4 per cent of those aged between 15 and 19 had begun bearing children.