The Kalungu District Health Unit is grappling with thousands of unwanted teenage pregnancies and unsafe abortions.

Kalungu district is located in central Uganda and bordered by Gomba District to the north, Butambala to the north-east, Mpigi District to the east, Masaka District to the south, and Bukomansimbi District to the west.

Schoolgirls undergoing pregnancy test Courtesy photo

Recent statistics from the district indicate that over 4,000 teenagers were made pregnant in the time that schools have remained closed.

The situation has been made worse by an increase in unsafe abortions among teenagers who are now seeking post-abortion care.

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Daniel Ssentamu, the Kalungu District Health Officer says they have received an overwhelming number of teenage girls who approach health centers with complications resulting from unsafe or self-imposed abortions.

He says most of the teenagers who have sought abortions have been victims of rape, defilement, and incest.

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Ssentamu explains that there is the use of unsophisticated and rough methods to remove fetuses from their uterus, like sharp objects, concoctions, self-prescribed tablets among others.

‘Many girls between 10 and 19years are home and idle and have been neglected by parents and guardians and most of these girls have no control, that is why they get pregnant and want to terminate it afterward using rudimentary means, they come to the health centers for post-abortion care with serious complications or residues of the fetus left inside them,” says Ssentamu.

Pregnant girls doing antenatal Courtesy photo

He notes with concern that the increase has been recorded in various sub-counties like Bukulula, Lukaya, and Lwabenge.

Ahmed Nyombi Mukiibi, the Kalungu LCV Chairperson says that they are reminding parents of their responsibilities to protect their children.

He adds that they have entered into partnerships with the different non-government organizations to mobilize the youth on responsible living and reproductive health messages.