Human Rights and Health Activists have called for enhanced Sexual Reproductive Health Rights Services for women and the entire teenage and young adults group.
These focused more on the raising cases of unsafe abortions carried out by women, young girls who are either forced to do so by the responsible would-be fathers to the babies while others are not ready to raise children and as such, terminate the pregnancies by whatever means availed to them.
According to Dr Charles Kiggundu, senior gynaecologist at Mulago Hospital, a total of 18 women die of reproduction related complications each day.
Rose Wakikona, Senior Programmes Manager, Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development (CHEHURD) said that there are over 800 abortions that happen every day in Uganda and 45% of these are unsafe and risky.
Wakikona noted that there are high costs of post-abortion care in the country and these make safe abortion a preserve for the rich. She also said that there’s an invisible indicator that no one talks about which is unsafe abortion.
She advocated for more programs about sexual and reproductive health services in the the media.
“When you switch on TVs, you will find lessons on everything unlike reproduction yet we know for sure that children are home engaging in intimacy,” Wakikona said.
It should be noted that the emergence of COVID-19 led to the closure of schools, a situation that has since led to an increased number of early marriages, cases of teen pregnancies and sexual violence among children according to various reports by the Police.
Gloria Lakke from CHEHURD said that more information on SRHR should be availed to those than need most especially the teenagers and young adults.
“The sexual violence cases reported in the lockdown should teach us that we are better off opening up to our children and giving them the right information rather than burying our heads in the sand about sexual reproduction issues,” said Lakke.
Meanwhile, Shivan Alinda, a student at Makerere University said that conversations on SRHR for young people should be normalized as it was in the past years.
“It’s time to get back to our old narrative; issues were discussed at the family level, in schools and young people were allowed to access materials like Straight Talk newspapers and plays via radio that conveyed numerous important messages to the readers and listeners,” Alinda said.