“Teen mothers should be supported and encouraged to return to school to help them realize their dreams - one of approaches for their socio –economic reintegration”. The call was made during the accountability workshop on prevention and response to teenage pregnancy organized on 4th November 2021 in Muhanga district, southern province.
The workshop is part of the ongoing gender accountability day activities taking place in Muhanga district from September – November 2021.
The workshop convened stakeholders and 90 teen mothers identified during a door to door assessment conducted in all sectors in Muhanga district. The workshop aimed to assess and exchange on issues relating to teen motherhood and stakeholder’s role in their socio-economic reintegration.
As mentioned by teen mothers during the workshop, teen mothers and their babies face various issues during and after pregnancy including extreme poverty, drop out from schools, rejection by their families, trauma and contamination of various sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among other issues.
The Minister of gender and family promotion Prof. Bayisenge Jeannette reminded officials, partners and service providers to increase effort and hold hands to support the socio-economic reintegration of teen mothers through provision of holistic support services including health, legal, psychological counselling and economic support.
The Governor of Southern Province Ms. Kayitesi Alice and the Chief Gender Monitor Rose Rwabuhihi urged teen mother to always remain with hope and strive to overcome challenges that resulted from teenage pregnancy and work hard to recover and realize their life. In particular, teen mothers were encouraged to return to school in order realize their dreams.
With the support of different partners and stakeholders, teen mothers that attended the workshop were given different items including basic hygiene materials, children clothes and nutrition items for them, their babies and families.
Five families that supported teen mothers and their babies were also given cows to support their families in order to be able to keep supporting the teen mothers and raise their babies.
According to reports by the Ministry of Health, teenage pregnancy has been increasing. From 2016 to 2020, 98,432 cases of teenage pregnancy (aged 15-19) were recorded in all health centers across the country (MOH report 2020); which calls for increased efforts and synergy between service providers, partners and stakeholders to fight the vice.