Minister Urges as Teenage Pregnancy Surges

The minister for general duties in the ministry for health, malady Hon Sarah Opendi on Tuesday reiterated government’s commitment to end teenage pregnancy, and urged on the local communities to join in the cause.

According to research by the White Ribbon Alliance — an organization that supports teen victims – one out of four girls aged between 15 and 19 in Uganda is already a mother or pregnant with their first child. Currently the teenage pregnancy rate according to the study, is at 24%

The Minister says it’s unfortunate that young girls are getting pregnant at a very fast rate because Uganda in Africa is the 9th with the highest child marriage and the 2nd with highest teenage pregnancy

Speaking at the National Youth Dialogue at Imperial Royal Hotel under the theme ending teenage pregnancy through a multi -sectoral approach; Hon Opendi appealed to young girls to listen to their elders and above all abstain from sex.

“If you feel you can’t help it use a condom to avoid the outcomes,” she said.

The Minister noted that reducing teenage pregnancy in Uganda would translate to a 70% reduction of material mortality by 2030. This would also reduce school drop outs by 34% and also increase economic productivity.

In order to achieve the above, she said sex education should be emphasized in schools so that teens get more knowledge about the subject that way they can end up making the best decision.

Opendi sounded a warning to all Ugandans that child marriage is a crime and all that engaging in it carries capital punishments. She also asked young girls to dress appropriately in public.

Uganda has developed many policies aimed at delaying and protecting teenage girls from becoming pregnant; which include the national health policy, national adolescent health policy and many others.

The responsibility to address teenage pregnancy Opendi said, cuts across the ministries of health, gender, labor and social development and education and sports.


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