Jul 21, 2020

Increased number of teenage pregnancies.

There has been an increase in the number of teenage pregnancies,stigma and mental health problems in the country y due to the corona virus induced lockdown since the young girls are at home and vulnerable to their tormentors.

According to a UNFPA document on teenage pregnancy in Uganda during and post Covid-19 lockdown, Eastern Uganda (Busoga) has the highest reported cases with Luuka district alone reporting more than 600 cases. West Nile and Ankole regions are also reporting many cases. 

According to a Police report, 4,442 cases of defilement were reported between January and April 2020. The Sauti reported 800 cases of sexual abuse between January and May 2020, including increased cases of teenage pregnancy. 

In 2014, the Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development in partnership with UNICEF and other stakeholders, established the toll-free number 116 as the Uganda Child Helpline (UCHL)/Sauti to encourage children and adults to report cases of child abuse and all forms of child rights violations.  

 Health experts argue 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.

Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic globally, President Museveni in late March, ordered for the closure of all schools and universities with about 15 million learners sent home in a bid to minimise the spread of the deadly virus. Since containment measures in Uganda were put in place, including closing schools and restricting movement, accessing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) information and services has become very challenging for girls and women. This is on top of cultural expectations surrounding abstinence, which already impacted young people’s confidence in seeking sexual and reproductive health services.

The closing down of all schools due to the COVID-19 crisis coupled with an ongoing restrictions on movement has exacerbated the limited access to sexual reproductive health information and services for young people. In fact, it has invoked fear among district officials, leaders, parents and other stakeholders that some girls may not return back to school due to unintended pregnancies after the long stay at home.

Much as the lock down is necceassry to curb the spread of the virus,empasis and rights of all children shoud be valued so as to avoid the longterm consequences even in post Covid times.

Jul 17, 2020

The plight of girls in the Covid-19 crisis.

As the world graples with the unfortunate crisis of the corona virus pandemic,many girls in the both the slum and rural communities of Uganda are stuck at home with no access to sanitary towels,this is because most of the girls rely on the free sanitary pads distrubuted some of the schools.But this has been cut short beacuse of the temporary lockdown of schools sine March.

According to UNICEF`s report of March 2019 on Guidance on menstrual health and hygiene,it envisions a world where every girl can learn,play and safe guard her own health without experiencing stress,shame ,or unnecessary barriers to information or supplies during menstruation.UNICEF`s support to menstrual health and hygiene is aimed at improving incomes on education,health and gender equality for girls and women.

Think about school going girls who are now locked up in homes, women in quarantine centers, women in relief camps, women  working in markets, who are also in need of vital information related to menstrual hygiene and access to sanitation facilities. In many places, shared toilets make it challenging for menstruating girls and women to manage menstrual hygiene. In reference to the above Joy for children Uganda has organised meetings with local leaders in the western Uganda in kabarole district to ensure the safety of the children espacially girls in this period,working closely with the law enforcement officers. working also closely with the village health teams to ensure distribution of reusable sanitary pads for the vulnerable girls in selevted villages,this we can not acheive it alone without the help of you our donors .

$2 can help a girl access a packet of  reusable sanitary towels for three months,our campaign is still running and we need to support as many girls as possble so that no single girl is left out.

Jul 14, 2020

progress on ending child marriage.

Collecting data from Arua, Kiryandongo, Isingiro, Kamwenge and Kyegegwa to support advocacy work to end child marriage in Uganda.
Child marriage remains a challenge affecting thousand of girls in Uganda - abruptly putting a stop to their education and exposing them to gender based violence, health related complications and poverty.
While progress has been made in reducing the number of girls getting married, 40% of girls in Uganda still marry when they are below 18 years.
With the outbreak of Corona virus and the restrictions imposed to contain it, many more girls are likely to be married off, become pregnant or even not return to school when the schools reopen.
This therefore calls us to Accelerate progress in ending child marriage and it's associated challenges in Uganda.
 
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