HOW KITAGWENDA DISTRICT IS GRAPPLING WITH INCREASING TEENAGE PREGNANCIES 

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Uganda registered at least 644,955 teenage pregnancies in 2 years during the COVID-19 lockdown, 5 times higher than coronavirus positive cases. About 250 children below 15 years impregnated monthly!

Local leaders and stakeholders in Kitagwenda district have called for stronger interventions to ensure that girls and boys stay in school as the district grapples with increasing teenage pregnancies.

A 2019-22 report by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) indicates a big increase in the number of girls aged between 15 and 19 years who got pregnant in Kitagwenda over the past three years ending June 30, 2022. The district recorded 3,420 teenage pregnancies in last three years, of whom 33 girls were below 15 years old, while 3,387 others ranged from 15 – 19 years.

Mahyoro sub-county had the highest number of teenage pregnancies with 941 girls between 15 and 19 years followed by Kitagwenda town council and Nyabbani sub-county with 721 and 691 teenage pregnancies respectively. Kicheche sub-county registered 4 cases, Buhanda sub-county recorded 376 teenage pregnancies, Kabujogera town council 308 and Kanara 379.

The District Health Officer-DHO, Dr. Christine Karungi said 19 girls below 15 years got pregnant in 2021, with most victims hailing from Nyabbani and Mahyoro sub county.

Kitagwenda district probation officer, Anthony Kamili said most of the victims received by his office are primary seven dropouts.

Nationwide, Uganda registered at least 644,955 teenage pregnancies in 2 years during the COVID-19 lockdown, 5 times higher than coronavirus positive cases. About 250 children below 15 years impregnated monthly.

In the whole Western Uganda, Kasese district which was the 3rd in registering high number of teenage pregnancies nationwide, registered 22,548 cases in 2019, 20 & 21. In other areas; Isingiro district 12,409 teenage preganancy cases, Kyegegwa 12,737, Kamwenge 8,328, Ntungamo 7,694, Mbarara City & District 6,489, Ibanda 4,733, Sheema 2,583, Rwampara 1,808, Kiruhura 3,525, Kazo 3,535, among other cases registered between 2019 & 21 in different districts across Uganda.

Parents/guardians have been challenged to jointly work with stakeholders like UNFPA aiming at promoting family planning, preventing maternal deaths, ending gender-based violence and harmful practices by 2030.

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