Unintended pregnancy is common in Uganda, leading to high levels of unplanned births. According to Guttmacher Institute in 2011, more than four in 10 births were unplanned, either mistimed or unwanted. On average, women in Uganda have 6.2 children but only intend to have 4.5 children. The outbreak of COVID-19 has had several negative effects, one of them being the high rates of teenage pregnancies in Uganda. Our youth champions in the Eastern region started a condom campaign to increase access, uptake, and correct use of condoms.
On 4th September, our change Champions from the Eastern Youth Network organized a condom information dissemination and distribution campaign. This was done to create a youth-friendly space to collect condoms, free from stigma or discrimination. Mbale Network of young people living with HIV/AIDS (MNYPA) and Elite Youth as network members mobilized peers to engage in this activity that looked at increasing access, uptake, and correct use of both male and female condoms.
The campaign took place in Namakwekwe, Namatala, Busamaga, and Mooni where young girls who engage in sex work were taught the correct way of using condoms as a means of preventing one from STIs including HIV, as well as unwanted pregnancies. A total of 185 young girls aged 15-25 who took part were sex workers, 208 young boys aged 17-24, and 300 Boda-boda men, all received information on proper condom use and other methods of family planning. A total of 10,500 male and 105 female condoms were distributed. The network plans to put up condom booths in all these places and ensure they are always refilled and accessed by the young people in different communities.