Rayan Efendi Intern from New Zealand – Gender-based violence advocacy officer PLATFORM for the NEEDY (PLANE)
The Ministry of Health in Uganda has stated that 25% of Ugandan teenagers become pregnant by age 19. Nearly half of Ugandan teenagers are married before they turn 18. As a result, young mothers in Uganda attempt unsafe abortions, face poverty, fail to continue with schooling, and are at risk of poor maternal and child health. Uganda has the world’s largest youth population, with 77% of its population being under the age of 25.
A CUAMM study conducted in 18 health facilities between 2013 and 2015 showed that: “• Adolescents accounted for 30% of deliveries in Oyam district (higher than national average); • About 80% of first-time pregnancies at Aber Hospital (referral hospital for Oyam district) were among adolescents • Adolescents contributed substantially to live births (26.7%), stillbirths (19.2%), low birth weight infants (42.7%) and referrals (17.3%) (Fig. 1); • More adolescents delivered at the HC III\
, whereas the HC IIs referred more adolescents than the other facilities; • On average, 23.3% of pregnant adolescents used ANC1, and 25.8% used ANC4;• 44.7% of pregnant adolescents used HIV counselling and testing services;• Contraception and family planning services remain largely unmet needs;• There are no adolescent sexual andr eproductive health services;
• There are no adolescent-friendly services.
PLATFORM for the NEEDY (PLANE) recognises that teenage pregnancy and early marriage is a complicated phenomenon and strategies conducted should place the adolescent at the centre, while still acknowledging the important role the educational and health care system plays in these issues. PLANE’s teenage mothers empowerment programme (TEMEP) aims to advance a knowledgeable community on the challenges experienced by teenage mothers, neglected children, and the negative effects of teenage pregnancies in the Rwenzori region of Uganda.