Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Arua Regional Referral Hospital is overwhelmed by the high number of teenage mothers seeking maternity and antenatal services.
Sr. Lilly Awili, the in-charge maternity ward at Arua regional referral hospital notes that more than 20 girls below 20 years deliver at the facility in a month.
She noted that of the 19 births registered on New Year’s Day at the hospital, 8 were underage girls who experienced obstructed labour resulting from excessive bleeding.
Sister Awili says that child mothers should regularly seek antenatal services so that complications are detected early.
Sr. Doreen Byabu, the in-charge of Oli Health Centre IV in Arua Municipality said the health unit receives pregnancy complications of teenage mothers. She says that teenage pregnancy can lead to devastating health consequences for girls as adolescents are not yet physically ready for pregnancy or childbirth.
Statistics from the community development office Arua indicate that cases of young mothers are on the increase and this has been attributed to school dropouts which make the girl child more vulnerable and gender-based violence.
Richard Obia the Community Development Officer-CDO Arua says that they have embarked on massive sensitization campaigns in the sub-counties of Ullepi in Madi Okollo district, Uriama in Terego and Ayivuni in Ayivu county to help young girls to avoid early pregnancies.
Some of the complications associated with pregnancies among underage girls include high risks of infections, delivery complications, fistula as well as maternal death.