Stake holders in Kamuli district have called for action to tackle the high teenage pregnancies and unsafe abortions which have left many young girls out of school while others die while procuring unsafe abortion.
The call was made by stake holders in five different sub-counties where our team under the Access to Medicines and Commodities on Sexual and Reproductive Health trained them on their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
The participants included local leaders, health workers and members drawn from the sub-counties of Bupadhengo, Kisozi, Balamoli, Butambi and Namasagali. The Community Scorecard (CSC) tool was used to engage the participants from which high teenage pregnancies and unsafe abortion were identified as the most pressing maternal health challenges.
The CSC is a qualitative tool used for community level monitoring and performance evaluation of services, projects and government administrative units. It has been used before in the same district with considerable success.
According to the 2016 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (2016 UDHS) teenage mothers are more likely to experience adverse pregnancy outcomes and are more constrained in their ability to pursue educational opportunities than young women who delay childbearing.
25 percent of adolescents age 15-19 in Uganda have childbearing: 19 percent of women age 15-19 have given birth, and another 5 percent were pregnant with their first child at the time of interview.
Additionally, the proportion of women age 15-19 who have begun childbearing rises rapidly with age, from 3 percent among women age 15 to 22 percent among women age 17 and 54 percent among women age 19. Adolescent childbearing is more common in rural than in urban areas (27 versus 19 percent, respectively).