Did you know that you are an adolescent? Adolescence is a period of transition from childhood to adulthood. This period is characterized by emotional, biological and psychological changes, putting adolescents at risk for early marriage, unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortion, STIs, HIV/AIDS, sexual abuse and exploitation. It’s in this period that many students join university often at the age of 18/19.
Uganda is a country rich in not only minerals and a lovable climate but also with a rich population with 33% of the population being of age 10-24 and 24% aged 10-19, 7 people out of every 10 you meet is a youth and 7 out of every 10 people you meet are adolescents between 15-24 years of age.
The future of the banana republic is totally dependent on the youths of the nation, hence adolescent health shouldn’t be taken as a joke. Efforts to reduce teenage pregnancies, early marriages, abortions should be doubled if not tripled, many youths have lost their lives due to abortions, and complications at birth et al. Teenage pregnancies are on a high rise today because of the many cultures that have still failed to turn modern. Information of the dangers of teenage pregnancies is either not shared or is nonexistent.
Among students, family planning is something that the married choose. Many students don’t know that family planning also means use of condoms, and contraceptives like the pills or injections or even IUDs, it’s not only about use of family planning pills. Family planning is concerned with preventing you from getting pregnant when you don’t need the kids and also with enabling families to get the number of children that they can efficiently take care of. Use of contraceptives as a method of family is largely shunned by university students who claim that it’s costly and risky because of the many myths that have been relayed by culture, religion, and society. Needless to say, Emergency contraception is a second chance that life throws at you in case the condom broke or in case you didn’t use one, condoms are also efficient but well, we shall talk about that in another post (Female condoms).
On a large scale, we have to change the mindset and fixation on the way we view things such as entrepreneurship, contraception and sex in our families, society and schools. We have to find a way to do away with teenage pregnancies, abortion and early marriages.
Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health in Uganda: A Synthesis of Research Evidence Stella Neema, Nakanyike Musisi and Richard Kibombo Occasional Report No. 14 December 2004.
http://www.afro.who.int/en/uganda/press-materials/item/6586-addressing-adolescent-health-challenges-in-uganda.html (viewed on 5th November, 2015)