Girls may return to school pregnant- health experts

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Health and education experts have warned of an increasing number of teenage pregnancies among school going learners due to ongoing coronavirus induced lockdown.

Dr Richard Mugahi, the Asst. Commissioner, Adolescent and School Health at the ministry of health told Daily Monitor on Thursday that because of lack of sexual reproductive services and information coupled with students having to be locked up with their abusers during this lockdown, numerous unintended pregnancies could be one of the negative effects.

“Having had this long lockdown as a result of Covid-19 pandemic, as the ministry of health, we are anticipating increase in teenage pregnancies, hence we need to equip our health facilities to effectively handle this,” Dr Mugahi told the newspaper.

Speaking during a Webinar online discussion themed; “The School Health Issues amid Response to Covid-19” organised by Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development, Maureen said the Education ministry is only concentrating on availing learners with study materials about the traditional subjects.

Victoria University

Andinda, a Strategic and Business manager at Reach a Hand-Uganda, said the ministry has excluded materials with sexual reproductive health information that is crucial in helping learners deal with their already enormous SRHR challenges.

“I was looking at the ministry of Education website but it only has the traditional subjects available for download, how about the information on reproductive health?” Andinda is quoted by Monitor as saying.

Speaking on behalf of fellow learners currently under lockdown, Nicole Musiime, a student of Hana International School, submitted that many of her female colleagues could be sexually undergoing abuse by their guardians or relatives at home and that given the prevailing lockdown, they have nowhere to run to.

“The schools should have sympathy with those female learners who might return to school pregnant once the lockdown is lifted. This is because the conditions some of them found themselves in as presented by the Covid-19 lockdown were not of their own making,” Musiime pleaded with school administrators.

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