Luwero, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Atleast 78,442 teenagers sought contraceptives in Luwero district in the financial year 2020/21.
According to the Luwero District Health report for the financial year, atleast 6,536 teenagers between 10-19 years sought contraceptives per month on average.
The report indicates the most sought contraceptives by teenagers were injectables for three months, injectable depo provera, implants for 3-5 years and the intra uterine device least demanded.
Dr. Innocent Nkonwa, the Luwero District Health Officer says that the data clearly indicates that teenagers are sexually active and some are already seeking contraceptives without knowledge of their parents.
He however notes that despite high uptake of the contraceptives, about 16,163 teenagers got pregnant within the year and there was a need to teach teenagers about family planning methods to stop the number of cases from increasing.
Florence Kyeswa, the Luwero branch manager of Reproductive Health Uganda says that atleast 50 teenagers seek family planning methods at their clinic per month, citing pressure from boyfriends and others who want to stop getting pregnant for the second time.
Both Kasana-Luwero diocese and Luwero Muslim district say they support family planning but condemn promoting as well as the use of contraceptives citing its side effects.
Reverend Father John Bosco Lutaaya of Kasana Luwero Diocese says that married adults can use natural family planning methods which include withdrawal to avoid unwanted pregnancies but not contraceptives.
Sheikh Ramadhan Mulindwa, the Luwero District Kadhi says that allowing teenagers to use contraceptives may promote promiscuity. He instead asked parents to offer guidance to their children to abstain from sexual activities till they married.
Mulindwa says the increase in teenage pregnancies is partly due to the negligence of parents and exposure of children to pornography.
Florence Bbosa, the Luwero District Education Officer says that educating learners in schools on the use of contraceptives is still a sticky issue and there is need to repackage such information as well as be specific on what age to benefit from such.
Safari Mutebi, a resident of Luwero town council says that he considers it not morally right to discuss contraceptives with his daughter. Mutebi insists that contraceptives must be kept away from teenagers and emphasis be put on abstinence till they complete their studies.
According to the Uganda AIDS Indicator Survey (2011), about 42 percent (boys) and 46 percent (girls) are sexually active. However, only 50 percent of those sexually active are using condoms consistently.
The 2016 report of the Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS) indicates that 25 percent of adolescents aged 15-19 in Uganda have begun childbearing.