Kitgum Registers 4,000 Teenage Pregnancies in Two Years

Written by on August 18, 2021

Kitgum District has registered up to 4,767 cases of teenage pregnancies within a period of two and half years.

According to statistics from the district Probation office, the majority of the cases were registered in 2019 before the government instituted the first lockdown following the outbreak of coronavirus disease.

The statistics show that between January to December 2019, 2,018 girls between 10-19 years got pregnant while 1,778 teen girls were impregnated between January to December 2020. The data was obtained from various health facilities where the teenage girls went for their first Antenatal Care services.

Michael Ogweng, the Senior Probation and Welfare Officer in Kitgum District says whereas the district has made strides to sensitize the community, they are now worried that this year the numbers could be high due to the closure of schools.

Ogweng notes that within just a space of six months since the beginning of the year, statistics from health facilities show a total of 971 teenage girls were pregnant.According to Ogweng, a combination of factors including the closure of schools, lack of sex education by parents and breakdown in responsibilities in the community are partly to blame for the rising teenage pregnancy.

Kitgum LCV Chairperson Christopher Obol Awrai, however, tasked the local leaders in the district to commit themselves to fight the vice since the cases are rising from the community.

Besides, teenage pregnancy, the district has this year also recorded an abnormal increase in cases of child marriage, seven times more than the five cases reported in 2020.

Statistics obtained by Uganda Radio Network shows that a total of 38 cases of child marriages were reported between January and June this year from Nine sub-counties in the district.

The hot spot areas with high child marriage reported are the sub-counties of Labongo Amida and Lagoro which registered seven cases respectively, the highest in the district. Others are Labongo Akwang sub-county which recorded two cases, Labongo Layamo with four cases, Kitgum Matidi with six cases and Mucwini five cases.

Two cases were recorded in Namokora, two in Pandwong Division while Pager and Central Division registered three and two cases respectively.

James Okidi, Kitgum district Senior Community Development Officer says tackling child marriage in the district remains a challenge due to the concealment of information by parents and community members.

He notes that despite many cases of child marriage happening in the district especially in some areas like Orom Sub-county, few of the cases are reported to the relevant authority.

According to the 2014 National Population census, Kitgum District has a total population of 220,758, out of which 53% (114,983) of the District Population are Children aged 0-17 Yrs. A 2013 UNFPA report indicates the Northern region accounted for 59 percent of children marriage compared to 21 percent in Kampala.

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