Teenage pregnancies: Lira district roots for reproductive health services

Morris Chris Ongom, the GLOFORD Executive Director

LIRA- Global Forum for Development (GLOFORD), a Lira based Non Governmental Organization (NGO) in partnership with AMREF Health Africa, an international NGO want sexual reproductive health services availed to adolescents in Lira district.

On 18 May 2018, GLOFORD convened a stakeholder’s meeting to forge away forward on how sexual and reproductive health services can easily be accessed by women and young people in the district.

George Rashid Opio, the Lira district Council Speaker said there is need to aggressively push for birth control through family planning methods as a check to the ever growing population in Lango.

“The population is increasing every now and then, yet land is not expanding,” Opio said wondering what will happen in the near future if birth control is not cheeked.

Lira district Council Speaker, Hon. Rashid Opio

Opio told the meeting that the district is currently trying to integrate issues of reproductive health into her budget.

Dr. Patrick Buchan Ocen, the district health officer said access of contraceptives by adolescents much as it remains a controversial issue, has also been long overdue.

He said the district has received close to Shs.900m for capital development and some of it will cater for the renovation of a youth facility at Ogur Health Centre IV that would enhance reproductive health services to young people.

Atim Grace Rac, a senior health educator at the district said they have also started reaching out to all the primary and secondary schools to sensitize the students especially girls on sexual and reproductive health.

“But we must engage religious and cultural leaders in this cause, so that we all speak one language,” Atim observed.

Atim said some religious denominations discourage the use of family planning methods, which is detrimental to their fight.

Juliet Ebill, the programs manager at Facilitation for Peace and Development (FAPAD) said increasing access of reproductive health services has been long overdue and asked the district to bring to halt teenage pregnancies.

Situation Analysis

Lira district has of recent been in the news following the rampant cases of primary school girls getting pregnant.

Teenage pregnancies were reported in Ayami, Iwal and Walela primary schools. Walela is in Aromo sub- County where close to 23 pupils were found pregnant.

Of the 1.2 pregnancies recorded in Uganda annually, 25% are teenage pregnancies according to the National population statistics.

Morris Chris Ongom, the Executive direct of GLOFORD said for the next two years they will be supporting Lira district to increase access to sexual and reproductive health commodities and also with support visits to health centers. The project is worth Shs100m according to Ongom.

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