The Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has urged parents ensure that children stay in school in order to avoid child marriages, teenage pregnancies and abortion.
Kadaga, who was speaking at the ground breaking and fundraising ceremony of a multi-storey Reproductive Health Centre in Wobulenzi, Luweero district also implored children to endeavour to stay in school and avoid engaging in early sexual relationships.
“While doing my research on sub-counties, I found statistics showing people who have been married aged 10 to 17 years, and I wondered how this was happening under our noses; we should not have child marriages, teenage pregnancies and abortions,” Kadaga said.
She further noted some areas that she knows to be notorious for child marriages and teenage pregnancies that are degrading to children.
“I know places notorious for child marriages especially in Nakadingidi, Wampamba and other areas,” Kadaga said.
The Speaker also encouraged the local leaders to take advantage of government programmess and ensure that awareness is created for children to remain in school. She also urged school children to embrace vocational education since one can work at any stage of study.
The Executive Director Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU), Jackson Chekweko, said they decided to fundraise for the Health Centre because donors were reluctant to provide money for the construction of big facilities.
“The Centre will be a three storied building with a maternity wing, laboratory, an area for young people to access sexual reproductive education; it will also have a mortuary,” he said.
Chekweko said that Reproductive Health Uganda has clinics and projects serving women and young people around the country.
Hon. Edward Ssembatya (NRM, Katikamu South) said that Reproductive Health Uganda and Wobulenzi Town Council have been key in initiating the fundraising and providing land for the cause.
Furthermore, the Minister of State for Primary Education, who is also the National Chairperson of Reproductive Health Uganda, Hon. Rosemary Sseninde, noted that the Luweero branch of RHU has been very resourceful in providing reproductive health services to women and the youth.
The Speaker donated Shs 3m; the Reproductive Health Secretariat, Shs100m, while Hon. Ssembatya contributed Shs1.5m towards the construction of the Health Centre.