A cross section of leaders in Kasese district have decried the increasing cases of teenage pregnancy in the area, a situation they say must be reversed if development is to be realized in the area.
The Kasese district Chairperson Mr. Sibendire Godfrey Bigogo who spoke to our reporter this morning says the situation in Kasese of teenage pregnancy is alarming.
He reports that he has a case of an eleven young lady who was made pregnant and is about to deliver.
Bigogo emphasizes that if a parent is caught involved in handling matters of teenage pregnancy at home, they will probably be arrested.
According to Mrs. Namugerwa Rose Immaculate project manager for the Maternal and new born child health project with Save the children international reports that they were compelled to intervene following the high rates of teenage pregnancies across the district.
She added that Save the children international, with support from save the children Italy has worked with Kasese district local government to put up strategies to reduce teenage pregnancy for better maternal and newborn outcomes
Immaculate reports that Save the Children has so far mentored 104 girls under the Girl mentorship program all aimed at reducing teenage pregnancies, advocating for a better maternal and lessening maternal deaths.
Reliable sources say that teenage mothers are more likely to drop out of school. Only about one-third of teen mothers obtain a high school diploma. Teenage pregnancies are associated with increased rates of alcohol abuse and substance abuse, lower educational level, and reduced earning potential in teen Parents
The Adolescent Development Coordinator Save the Children Ms Pauline Kabagenyi Ateenyi attributed the increased teenage pregnancies to high illiteracy levels, lack of secondary schools in the hard to reach sub counties, engagement in early sexual relations due to poverty, lack of parental care, among others.
The Kasese District Deputy RDC Mr. Joshua Masereka however blamed men who make young girls pregnant at such tender age and describes them as witches whom he said don’t wish well such young girls.
Cases of teenage pregnancy in Kasese district and among other sub counties are said to be in Karusandara, Kasangali, Munkunyu, Muhokya, Kisinga, Bwesumbu, and Kisinga Sub-counties. .
However, there is hope that the teenage pregnancy trend can be reduced, following the strides of Save the Children in the area who have embarked on the girl’s mentorship program aimed at empowering girls to make informed decisions and better choices.
The district leaders, teachers and parents made commitment to support and sustain the girl’s mentorship in Kasese district.
Topister Mutsangya mother of a teenage mother when asked what they did to the boy who impregnated her daughter, she said, “we did nothing to him and he gave us nothing as we saw that our child was still young and we couldn’t accept anything from the boy because that could mean that our daughter is going to get married.