Budaka District officials have decided to prioritize the provision of family planning services to counter the high rate of teenage pregnancies majorly among school-going children, which has continued baffling the local authorities. Statistics from the district shows that 25.8percent of the teenage girls in Budaka get pregnant before making 18 years of age.
While presenting the district family planning performance status during a two day follow up meeting on the sustainability of Budaka family planning Advocacy working group and orientation of new leaders at Linco Hotel, the Biostatistician, Agwaro Kizito, noted that the district registered 1,594 teenage pregnancies between July and December 2021.
Agwaro noted that this is extremely high, which calls for concerted efforts by all the stakeholders to find remedies. According to the breakdown, Budaka Town Council registered the highest number with 219 cases followed by Lyama sub-county with 182, Kameruka sub-county with158, Iki-IKI 156, Kamonkoli 139, Kaderuna 122, Kakule 121, Budaka sub-county 64, Nansanga 98, Mugiti 61, Katira 112 and Kachomo 104.
Agwaro also noted that they registered 93 cases of abortion at various health facilities. He said Budaka Health Center IV topped the list with 72 cases followed by Kameruka 8, Kaderuna 2, Kamonkoli 2, Sapiri 2 and Kerekerene 2.
The meeting also observed the poor involvement of men in family planning services. They singled out the COVID 19 pandemic, negative perception about the service and limited information about Family Planning as some of the factors affecting Family Planning services uptake.
Dr. Erisa Mulwani, the Budaka District Health Officer, says that the high rate of teenage mothers in the district is quite worrying. “It’s quite a big challenge, which is before us, and it calls for attention from various stakeholders. That is the reason why we are here to make sure the district spearheads family planning service provision that we believe will help to reduce teen pregnancy, ”Dr Mulwanisaid.
The Assistant District Health Officer in –Charge of Maternal, Hellen Wanyenze indicated that Budaka district has a high fertility rate of 7.3% much higher than the national average of 5.3%. She noted that family planning is key since it gives high dividend investment options for addressing Uganda’s high total fertility rate, high school dropout rates as a result of teenage pregnancy and high maternal morbidity and mortality and ultimately the achievement of sustainable development as envisioned in vision 2040.
She also noted that there are no jobs for the increasing population in the district, saying it has become a source of insecurity to the community. Emmanuel Pajje, the LC V Chairperson of Budaka district noted that the increasing cases of teenage pregnancy are largely a result of the high poverty levels in the district.
Patrick Mugirwa, the program manager of Partners in Population and development [PPD] said that the implications of early pregnancy are immense and affect the girls and their parents emotionally and economically.
At the close of the two-day engagement, the leaders agreed on three objectives which require the council to approve a work plan that integrates activities on family planning sensitization by May 2022, activities for capacity building of health workers in counseling and management of FP side effects, and a resolution requiring the activities that target male involvement in FP and budgets for the successive five years.
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