Ugandan government has been told to acknowledge the problem of teenage pregnancies that is affecting most parts of the country and allow girls to freely and openly access family planning information to help them make better decisions later in life.

According to the Uganda Demographic Health Survey 2016 (UDHS 2016), four in every 100 teenage girls are either pregnant or have had their first child.

Ms Kullein Ankunda, the Communications and External Relations Officer at Jhpiego said they are aweare  people are starting to have sex at an ealy age of nine or twelve. “The reproductive health education needs to happen. People are doing it secretly. It is actually happening and most of them (girls) are getting wrong information on contraceptives,” she said

Some of the contraceptives that con be used to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Photo by GARO/PHANIE/REX

“We have allowances for teenagers to come and get the knowledge even if they are not coming to get the actual contraception or family planning. At least let them have the knowledge so that when the time comes and they are involved in sex or when they want to have sex, they have the knowledge,” Ms Ankunda said.

A 2016 study on the linkage between pregnancy and school dropouts in Uganda, carried out by MoES and Forum for Women Educationalists Uganda, found that among sexually active girls, 36 per cent (29 per cent in primary and 50 per cent in secondary school) have used contraceptives. Over two thirds of sexually active girls in primary school got pregnant.