MOYO.The state minister for Primary health care Dr Joyce Moriku has attributed the increasing number of teenage pregnancies in Uganda to poor parenting.
According to a reproductive health Uganda report, the teenage pregnancy rate for less than 18 years stands at 19% while between 20-24 years stands at 25% over last year.
This was revealed during stokeholds dialogue meeting held on Thursday at Moyo district headquarters and organized by reproductive health Uganda (RHU).
According to the minister, there is need for the various stakeholders to interest themselves on the issues of parents’ upbringing of their children right from the stage of being a baby to adolescents.
“This can be done by involving the teenager in planning and decision making in the families. Leaving them out as parents and not teaching them certain crucial things has got a lot of effects, We have seen children being brought up in families without love”, she said.
She continued “when I’m talking about parenting, I’m talking of parental separations, gender based violence and other issues concerning the adolescents and all these have got a negative impact on the girl child and we must address such challenges holistically”.
Moriku said the government is committed to making friendly policies to address concerns of people of Uganda. She urged the adolescents and other community members in the country to play their part in reducing teenage pregnancies.
Dr Franklin Iddi, the Moyo district health officer attributed the rising cases of Teenage pregnancy in the district to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country. He said before the lockdown, the district’s teenage pregnancy rate was 6% but during the lockdown, it rose to 14% representing 450 teenagers in the last financial year.
He however observed that in the current financial year, the rate has reduced to 10% representing 82 teenagers. He said the reduction in teenage pregnancy in the district is due to constant sensitization.
Some of the leading sub counties in teenage pregnancy include; Lefori 19%, Moyo Sub County at 17% and Dufile Sub County at 16% among others.
A recent report from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) indicates that between January –April 2020, 442 girls got pregnant while 800 were subjected to sexual abuses from their homes and other institutions of living.
Mr Robert Ocaya, a staff from reproductive health Uganda said there are cases where girls in homes were convinced to get married by their parents and brothers which should be addressed by policy makers and the general public.
Ms Amanda Joan, the youth focal point person at RHU noted that there is a high level of alcoholism among young people in Uganda which affects their decision making abilities, she said despite the challenges, young people are the solutions to their problems.