A report compiled by Eden Mission in the month of October has revealed that pregnancies among teens has risen from 79 to 519.
The same report also reveals that the number of teens who tested positive for HIV/Aids has also increased, a trend that surprised some health workers.
Eden Mission Kigezi region coordinator Grace Akampurira Mutabazi said the Organization launched a campaign to offer maternal health care services to mothers across the entire district for the month of October.
Mrs. Mutabazi noted that among the services offered included free pregnancy tests, Ultra sound services, free HIV/Aids testing and counseling among other services.
“The data collected in the month of October has shown us that pregnancies among young people in Kisoro increased from 79 to 519 and this is during the first and second Covid-19 Lockdown”, Mutabazi explained
Mrs. Mutabazi has called on the Government to prioritize community sensitization especially concerning teenage pregnancies, antenatal services and offer hope for the future for the youth because many have become desensitized due to the effects of a prolonged lock down.
Health Workers speak out:
In charge of Nyabihuniko HCIII Silas Niyozimana commended Eden Mission for dedicating resources and time to help teenage mothers during the lock down.
He notes that though the help was just for one month, a lot of data has been collected which paints a grim picture of the state of the girl child in Kisoro and Uganda, at large.
Niyozimana says health facilities across the district were overwhelmed with teenage mothers, some of whom, unfortunately tested positive for HIV/Aids.
“I used to register one or two mothers with HIV before the lockdown and I would advise and assist accordingly but during this lockdown, I was registering close to 5 cases of HIV among teens daily, many of whom would go behind the building block and cry because they had no idea, they had been infected”, Niyozimana explains
According to the Uganda Population based HIV Impact assessment 2020, the prevalence of HIV among adults aged 15 to 64 in Uganda is 6.2%.
7.6% among females and 4.7% among males. This corresponds to approximately 1.2 million people aged 15 to 64 living with HIV in Uganda. HIV prevalence is higher among women living in urban areas (9.8%) than those in rural areas (6.7%).
Former Woman Member of Parliament for Kisoro Hon. Rose Kabagenyi says, the teenage pregnancies was an event that caught both teens and their parents unprepared.
She notes that instead of blaming those have been victimized, Government, parents and other stakeholders involved, need to embrace the new normal and assist these young mothers to cope with life by ensuring they return to school.