‘Reach a Hand’ to Mark World Population Day with Teenage Pregnancy Sensitization

Uganda has the most alarming rates of teenage pregancy in
Africa's Sub Saharan region with 24% of girls in Uganda get pregnant
below the age of 18. (Photo by: Daniel Ecwalu)

Reach a Hand, more about Uganda (RAHU) is set to join the rest of the World to commemorate World Population Day on Monday July 11 in a bid to raise public awareness on the need to invest in teenage girls.

Under the theme “Harnessing Uganda’s demographic dividend: Invest in teenage girls”, store the Monday activities will put a spotlight on the challenges affecting young people especially teenage girls while amplifying their voices to find solutions to these challenges.

The day will kick off with three flash mob stop overs at Kubiri and Kalerwe roundabouts, as well as Kawempe town where RAHU’s peer educators, skaters and bikers will be strategically placed to disseminate messages on the day’s theme.

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The commemoration comes a week after the RAHU’s launch of the Better Life for Girls initiative which is supported by UNFPA Uganda along with the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

Uganda has the most alarming rates of teenage pregancy in Africa’s Sub Saharan region. According to Marie Stopes Uganda, 24% of girls in Uganda get pregnant below the age of 18. This implies that one out of every 10 pregnant women is below the age of 18.

“Putting girls first whether in schools, communities or slums is no longer an option but a necessary step everyone should take if we are to take the Global Goals and implement them at a local level,” said Humphrey Nabimanya, Team Leader and Founder of RAHU.

He added; “Every teenage girl has the right to a safe and successful transition into adulthood and the right to embrace the opportunities that the future holds for them. That’s why we are not leaving them behind.”

The climax to the activation will be held at Kawempe Muslim Primary School Grounds in Kawempe Division.  It will feature a “market place” of activity with peer educators, bikers, dancers and skaters weaving among the crowds dressed in T-shirts emblazoned with messages on investing in teenage girls.

“Conducting a flash mob and having a marketplace in Kawempe Division is no coincidence. The division, according to UNAIDS’ HIV and AIDS Uganda Country Progress Report 2013, is a hotspot for sexual reproductive health challenges such as teenage pregnancies and high rates of HIV/AIDS infection, which put the girl child at a risk,” said Bakshi Asuman, the Programs Manager at RAHU.

Also at the marketplace, HIV testing and counseling focused on adolescents  will be provided alongside  exhibitions by KCCA youth groups, AFFCAD, Set Her Free and other Civil Society Organisations  on the work they are doing to invest in teenage girls. The public will also have an opportunity to interact with local leaders and policy makers and engage with teenage  girls.

The event is supported by the United Nations Population Fund.


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