By Stephen Wandera
KIU, Main Campus - A report from Human Right Focus Uganda (HURIFO) has revealed that a total of 4,062 cases of teenage pregnancies have been recorded in six out of eight districts in Acholi sub-region within five months of the pandemic, according to a news report by PML Daily.
Francis Odongyoo, the Executive Director, HURIFO revealed to PML Daily in an interview that the 4,062 cases of teenage pregnancies were collected from the Acholi sub-region, excluding data from Omoro and Kitgum who are yet to release theirs.
“4,062 cases of teenage pregnancy registered in Acholi subregion excluding figures from Kitgum and Omoro districts. Girls are thinking schools will not be opened; others are saying that they can’t wait for COVID-19 to kill them before getting an offspring (a child) while others lack parental support at home during the pandemic,” Odongyoo is quoted to have said.
According to the news report, Lamwo district emerges top with 1,000 cases, Pader with 920, Agago 730, Nwoya 642, Amuru 620 and Gulu 150. Bigger numbers are apparently expected from Kitgum and Omoro.
Other factors causing the rise according to Odongyoo include poverty and the wrong perception among young girls that NGOs take care of child mothers.
Human Rights Organisations and NGOs have continually called on the government to reopen schools because the undesirable effects of the lockdown – like teenage pregnancies - might be more drastic than the possible effects of infection from COVID-19.
Picture credit: Teenage Pregnancy Awareness