The government of Norway has partnered with the kingdom of Busoga in a 4.4 Million USD project aimed at ending teenage pregnancies in Mayuge and Kamuli districts.
Records from the United Nations Population Fund-UNFPA as of 2021 rated Mayuge and Kamuli as some of the districts as having the highest teenage pregnancy cases in the country. Kamuli recorded 6,535 whereas Mayuge registered 6,205 teenage pregnancies.
The three year project codenamed “the eye universal,” is aimed at financing the promotion of acceptable medical practices, which will foster eradication of teenage pregnancies and infant mortality.
The project entails steering partnerships with the already existing sexual reproductive health and rights-SRHR promoters in the kingdom, to promote uptake of family planning methods among high-risk groups, which will in turn contribute to the reduction of unwanted pregnancies among teenagers.
The Kyabazinga of Busoga, HRH Gabula Nadiope says that the move will over time ensure stable education of teenagers, some of whom suffer interruptions or total school dropout due to unintended pregnancies.
Nadiope further challenged parents and teachers to emphasize abstinence from sex amongst teenagers, which he says is the sustainable means of ending unwanted pregnancies amongst school going children.
The Bishop of Busoga diocese, Rt. Rev. Samson Naimanhe says that most teenage mothers lose their future career plans due to lack of support from both their parents and communities after delivery, which is disadvantageous for them to excel in life like their male peers.
Namainhe however, argues that with the launch of a project aimed at empowering girls with knowledge on how to stay in school and resist early sex advances, he is hopeful that cases of teenage pregnancy will be eliminated from most rural schools, where children are easily misled into unprotected sex.
Meanwhile the deputy head of mission for the Norwegian embassy in Uganda, Reidar Bergum says that, much as available statistics indicate that, 27% of the girls between the ages of 15-19 have been getting pregnant annually over the years, efforts of reducing this figure has been frustrated due to the information gaps created by covid19.
Bergum notes that available reports indicate how some parents sell off their teenage daughters in marriage in exchange for money. He adds that this project also aims at promoting eradication of sexual and gender based violence among the targeted groups.
He further challenged parents and other opinion leaders to ensure that all girls have total control over their bodies, which will safeguard them from teenage pregnancies and overtime increase their productivity in the labor market.
According to statistics, 50% of the pregnancies are unintended globally, whereas, 43% of the women world over lack the courage to make viable decisions concerning their individual sexual reproductive health and rights.