Voice of Lango

Poor access to contraceptives spiralling up teenage pregnancies in Lango

17 June 2023, 6:03 pm

Okeng David, CDFU Social and Behavior Change project coordinator

By Odota Adubango Moureen


Rising cases of teenage pregnancies in Lango has been blamed on poor access to contraceptives among adolescent youth due to negative social norms against the use of contraceptives.

This was revealed during a media meeting organized by Communication for Development Foundation Uganda (CDFU) and Plan Uganda to disseminate a report on social norm diagnosis on access and usage of contraceptive options among adolescent youths in Lango, held at Mayov hotel in Apac municipality on Friday.

The report was derived from survey conducted in six districts in Lango which includes Kole, Oyam, Alebtong , Apac, Lira district and city involving religious and cultural leaders, celebrities,  parents among other stakeholders under CDFU and Plan Uganda’s  “ My body, “My Future project” run under I decide program.

Okeng David, the CDFU Social and Behavior Change project coordinator said the report had revealed increasing cases of teenage pregnancies in Lango despite ongoing sensitization against the same, with Kole and Oyam districts leading with the highest cases of teenage pregnancies, according to data from District Health Officers in Lango derived from a survey conducted in the first quarter of 2023. According to the statistics, the rate of teenage pregnancy in Lango stood at 2,633 in January, 2,283 in February and 2,482 in March 2023.

Okeng said access to contraceptives among adolescent youth was being impeded by negative social norms, including cultural stigma and resentment towards use of contraceptives, with young girls who use them being tagged as prostitutes, the myth that girls who use contraceptives before marriage become barren and that contraceptives are only meant for married people among others.

He said as CDFU, they will partner with Reproductive Health Uganda to increase access and awareness to Sexual reproductive health services among adolescent youths.

Statistics of teenage pregnancies in Lango for the first quarter of 2023

Jasper Opio, the team leader, Lira District Union of Persons with Disability, one of the implementing partners of I decide project, called for increased inclusion of persons with disability in Sexual Reproductive Health services.

He further called for recruitment of more sign language interpreters to disseminate information of Sexual Reproductive Health to persons with disability.

Journalists who attended the meeting pledged commitment to promote access to contraceptives and breaking the negative social norms surrounding contraceptives in a bid to encourage more youth to embrace use of contraceptives to mitigate teenage pregnancies.