Namutumba, (UG): Leaders in Eastern Uganda’s Namutumba District have decried the rising number of teenage pregnancies in the area, attributing it to negligence by parents to take care of their children and drug addiction by the boy children who eventually force girls into sexual activities.
Namutumba District Woman MP, Hon Mariam Naigaga says the belief by parents that children belong to President Museveni and the government has resulted in negligence and that the use of drugs by the boy children is also contributing to the raising cases of teenage pregnancies citing that they end up forcing girls into sex.
Ms Naigaga was on Tuesday (December 12) presiding over as the Chief Guest at a ceremonial function where over 20 teenage mothers graduated in tailoring and other life skills at Byakatonda Care Foundation at Kiwanyi village, Kiwanyi sub-county in Namutumba district.
“The highest level of teenage pregnancies in Namutumba district is entirely on the side of negligence by parents. I want to tell you that parents now claim that every child they produce belongs to president Museveni and the government. The second cause is entirely drug addicts, especially the boy children,” Hon Naigaga said.
According to the district statistics, at least 627 cases of teenage pregnancies were recorded after the COVID-19 period, however, the leaders are playing their role in sensitizing the girl children on the dangers of teenage pregnancies by involving them in skilling work to support themselves.
They also called upon the government to set-up community rehabilitation centres to deter girls from falling victims of teenage pregnancies by equipping them with psycho social support, skilling and other rehabilitation trainings.
“We’re engaging the community into sensitizing them on how best they can protect their children and training the girl children on how to take care of themselves to avoid these issues of teenage pregnancies and we’re very sure with time it will go on reducing,” Hon Naigaga said.
The registered 627 cases of teenage pregnancies from the age of thirteen to seventeen don’t include other cases as victims remain in hiding for fear of arresting the culprits because some of them were their relatives and others they stay with in the community.
The function attracted other leaders from different civil society organizations, support and skills centres and cultural leaders.
Dr. Nelson Muzira, the director of Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga Education Initiative urged the government to set up rehabilitation centres to support and skill teenage girls.
“…in these centres, we see that there will be rehabilitation, psychosocial support, skilling, trainings and this will deter our young children from getting pregnant because even those affected can be supported and this will give a very good image to the community,” Dr Muzira said.
The Minister for Agriculture in Busoga Kingdom, Mr Samuel Nkenga told DailyExpress that the rehabilitation centres are significant in giving literature in addition to making programs over the Radios and TVs plus training people on how to parent to ensure that the problem of teenage pregnancy is eliminated.
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