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Worry As Uganda Records 650,000 Teenage Pregnancies In 2020/21

Government has acknowledged the high prevalence of teenage pregnancies and defilement cases, revealing that 649,955 teenage pregnancies were recorded between 2020 and 2021 in Uganda.

This was revealed by Vice President Jesica Alupo in a statement on the national campaign against defilement, early marriages and failed parenthood that is slated to be launched by Government at Kololo Independence Grounds on Friday.

The Vice President said that since March 2020, statistics show increased cases of defilement and teenage pregnancies in our country and cited a study conducted by United Nations Population Fund.

 “The Study found that a total of 354,736 teenage pregnancies were registered in 2020, while 295,219 teenage pregnancies were registered between January to September 2021. This implies that on average, over 32,000 teenage pregnancies are recorded per month,” Alupo said.

Among the districts with highest cases of teenage pregnancies included; Kamuli-6,535, Mayuge-6,205,  Mukono-5,535, Wakiso-10,439, Rakai- 2,711, Luwero- 4,545 and  Kampala-8,460.

The others include; Oyam-6,449, Lira-4,697, Arua- 4,705, Yumbe-3,973, Kasese-7,319 and Kyenjojo-4,341.

Alupo described the figures as worrying which is the reason why Cabinet agreed on a year long campaign to sensitise the public on dangers of defilement, teenage pregnancies among others.

Solomon Silwany (Bukooli Central) called on Parliament to consider including in its annual calendar activities to mark the global 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence in their planning calendar.

“Gender based violence is something that is archaic and barbaric that should be kicked out of this parliament,” he said.

Kazo County’s Dan Kimosho decried the high cases of teenage pregnancies in Kazo district where girls are being given away for marriage and the vice is likely to worsen during this covid situation.

“We need to launch a very serious national campaign against this barbaric tendency of treating women as tools to earn. These young girls can’t even deliver when they get pregnant,” said Kimosho.  

Sylvia Bahereira (Kamwenge DWR) blamed without evidence that the high HIV/AIDs on the poor dress code claiming that people living in predominantly Muslim countries, there is empirical data showing that their HIV prevalence is low in Arab countries.

“If our people continue putting clothes that are above the knees, we expect high teenage pregnancies. We expect defilements not to go down because men aren’t temptation proof. The moment our people continue putting clothes that are above the knees, we may not do much,” said Bahireira.

She was backed by Deputy Speaker Anita Among who warned girls against wearing short clothes, saying the men are dangerous.

“The morals shouldn’t be broken, I mean, why would you be putting on a miniskirt? And there, you would be enticing men, these men are very dangerous. It is our responsibility to make sure we guide our girl children. We make the girl children dress in a descent way.

Taddewo William Senyonyi
William is a seasoned business and finance journalist. He is also an agripreneur and a coffee enthusiast.

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