Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Maracha district leaders have expressed worry over the high rates of child pregnancies and early marriages in the district.
A report released by the district Planner, Alfred Kato indicates that in the last one year, Maracha district recorded 1,842 child mothers between the ages of 10 to 17 years.
According to Kato, the figures were obtained from the District Health Information System (DHIS) Antenatal visits by pregnant mothers.
According to Kato, the number of the child mothers captured in the record denotes only those who had the courage to visit health facilities for the first time totalling to 1,297. However, the statistics of other child mothers who remained at homes could not be captured in the report.
The records also indicate that St. Joseph’s Hospital Maracha records most of the child-mother deliveries with a record 400 through Caesarean section.
The District Health Officer Maracha Dr Paul Onzubo says unless young people change their lifestyles and parents send and keep their children in school, the trend may continue to rise.
He wants the parents to provide the necessities for the girl child, which he says is a major contributing factor for early pregnancies.
Lawrence Adiga Ozubia, the Maracha LCV Chairperson, attributes the increase in the early pregnancies to the rampant night discos and evening markets. He warns parents not to leave their children at homes while they go to markets and come back late while the children have also gone out to look for food.
Maracha district inspector of schools, Henry Anguambu believes most of the driving forces behind early pregnancy and child marriage are economic at the households.
Stephen Edema blames early pregnancy and child marriage on the lack of parental irresponsibility.