Teenage Pregancy-The Silent Killer

2 Nov

Eve( not real name) had just joined campus she had full life ahead of her, at 19 her dreams were cut short by an act of selfishness of a family member. One night at a family house party Eve was savagely raped by her own cousin, she didn’t know how it happened because she didn’t feel anything. Her drink had been laced with something by this beast who took advantage of her. Its only after 2 months that Eve started to feel weird, her boobs suddenly felt a little bigger, she missed her period for the 2nd time, she decided to do a pregnancy test and her worst fears were realised.

Her own cousin was now her worst nightmare, he confessed before the family about the act but this could never give Eve her freedom and life. This moment changed the course of her life, She would always be judged by this thing/Child. Her mind raced with all kinds of thoughts, the family of the beast protected their own demon calling Eve a whore who forced her self on their child. If misery loves company then it found Eve, Eve’s mum who had felt her daughters pain passed away 4 months into her pregnancy.As a mother, Eve’s mum had stood by her daughter and promised to always protect her child from the abuse and scorn the world would give her.Eve wondered how this kind of life had chosen her

Eve thought about abortion everyday until she gave birth to Chris(not real name). She gave up fighting with her own thoughts, yes Harris was born out of incest, she was a victim of rape, she had dropped out of school, betrayed by her own family, lost her mum along the way but she hadn’t lost herself. Eve got back up with the support of her dad, Chris gave her a new lease of life he was innocent, he had done no wrong, every time she breast fed him she never thought about how he came into being.

Eve had lost time she had missed out on school, her classmates had already graduated by the time she was well enough to go back to school.

One in every 4 girls between 15 to 19 years is already a mother or pregnant with her 1st child according to a Unfpa report http://unfpauganda.org/endtp/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/fact-sheet-final.pdf.

Eve just happens to me a statistic in this case. Teenage pregnancy put Eve at the risk of death while giving birth, having a still birth is also higher in teenage mothers and also the chances of developing fistula are high in young mothers. Teenage mothers rarely get the chance to finish education as they are now burdened with taking care of their children and this in the end leads to low productivity of these individuals culminating into poverty in the long term.

The major cause of teenage pregnancy is premised to be lack of sex education for girls which leads them into situations they don’t know how to deal with, the breakdown of the family unit has also contributed to teenage pregnancies as the only protection that girls had is now the silent killer for girls.

The role of sex education is very important in having healthy relationships that are beneficial to society. Teenagers need to be educated about the dangers of having sex at an early age

Having sex at an early age has effects on both the boy and girl, whereas boys treat it as just sex in some situations families of the girl force the boy to take responsibility of the pregnancy leading to families headed by teenagers. They all miss out on a chance of having a proper education to be able to fulfill their dreams and live a satisfactory life.

Peer education should include Family planning talk which includes teaching teenagers how to have manageable families. family planning is essential in the modern day as the cost of living is high and maintaining a family especially in the urban areas is expensive.

The most common method of family planning especially for sexually active teenagers is the use of condoms for both boys and girls. These are available for free in government health facilities, Makerere University had a policy where health ministers for different halls always distributed condoms for free in student rooms and also were provided for free at the university hospital.

Adolescent health is another good health practice, couples need to support each other when expecting a child. The men need to support their partners especially by going for antenatal visits with the expectant mother. Antenatal visits will ensure that the mother has a safe delivery, know her HIV status so make sure the baby is safe from any danger, and also monitor the growth of the baby. The support of the father gives the mother the comfort that she will not be alone in raising a child. Raising a child in a loving home will give a child the kind of protection they need to grow into responsible citizens.

Most teenage mothers never get the chance to get through the education, however there are alternative ways of making sure that these teenagers become productive in life. There are many opportunities through vocational institutions where teenagers can learn entrepreneurial skills. These skills can be used by teenage mothers to own businesses which can allow them enough time to also look after their families for example tailoring, candle making, table cloth making, making bead necklaces. These are income generating activities which can earn mothers money, also raise their self esteem as people who can contribute to society in a responsible way.

There are many organisations that are supporting teenage mothers in order to rebuild their lives,  these offer support in terms of making sure they have a ready market for their products and also provide training for them to acquire more business skills.

Eve didn’t get to choose when she will have a child through family planning, she missed out on the support of her partner while she went for antenatal care, she was lucky though not to have contracted HIV from what happened to her and through the support of her daddy was able to complete her studies. She now owns a small business to make sure she can support her son. However, not all girls are as lucky as Eve that some how they can go through this horror and still manage to come through as winners. These ordeals are unfortunate and most times happen to people who don’t deserve them but its not the end for teenage headed families and mothers.

But 1st we must educate the young early enough, knowledge is power, delay sex but if you cant be wise while doing it make sure you use protection.

Your Health Your Wealth.

Denis Musali.

Social Commentator.

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