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30% of teenage school girls in Pallisa district impregnated

Lockdown led to surge in teenage pregnancies across Pallisa district. File Photo

Pallisa, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | A report by the Pallisa Health District Office has indicated that 30% of the school going girls in the district are pregnant or gave birth in the period between March 2020 to date.

Dr. Godfrey Mulekwa, the Pallisa District Health Officer said the increasing rate at which young girls are delivering babies in the district is worrying.

He said that the district during the lockdown experienced a teenage pregnancy boom saying that on average, each of the villages registered 15 cases of teenage pregnancy.

Mulekwa said that records at health centers across the district show that more than 500 teenagers deliver at different facilities every month.

Angela Akello, a nursing assistant at Pallisa main hospital said early this month during the launch of the Pallisa District Family Planning–Costed Implementation Plan (DFP-CIP) 2020-2025, at the Red Cross main hall in Pallisa district that the number of early pregnancies in the district is higher than what is recorded in the health facilities because majority of them deliver in villages being attended to by traditional birth attendants.

“Teenage pregnancies are rampant in rural communities only that most of them prefer to abort with the help of traditional birth attendants and health workers in private clinics so we do not get the accurate figures,” she said.

John Michael Okurut, the former Pallisa District Chairperson notes that the increasing teenage pregnancies have contributed to the high poverty levels in the district, with many families eating only once a day.

Simon Opolot, a resident of Pallisa town council said teenage pregnancy tremendously affects the family in terms of finances because most of the time perpetrators do not meet their responsibilities or run away in fear of being arrested.

Records at Pallisa central police station indicate that at least two to three cases of defilement are reported daily in the district.

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