Agago district has registered a total of 1,972 teenage pregnancies within a period of 15 months.
Agago District Probation Office records show that the people who visited different health centres to access antenatal services during the last year included 1,339 adolescent girls aged between 12 and 19. Another 633 cases were registered between April and September 2021, most of them in the Sub Counties of Adilang and Omot.
The District Probation Officer Geoffrey Ojok says that the number could be higher than the captured data considering that due to fear and shame, some pregnant adolescent girls don’t go for antenatal care.
The District Senior Community Development Officer Paska Adong attributed the rising teenage pregnancies to domestic violence, lack of parental care and guidance, poverty, negligence by parents, peer pressure as well as the COVID-19 induced lockdown, which led to the closure of schools.
Adong however adds that the government needs to redesign its messages to put more emphasis on the need for protection to stop the spread of HIV since some of the victims have been also infected with HIV/AIDS. She adds that the situation is worrying and that efforts should also be made to arrest the men who are impregnating the girls.
Agago District Woman MP Beatrice Akello Akori called for urgent interventions to protect the rights of young girls whose future is being jeopardised, as they drop out of school at an early stage and fail to complete education, a trend that throws them into a vicious cycle of poverty.