Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum (UYAHF) in partnership with Kyegegwa district are in the process of developing a costed action plan on ending teenage pregnancy and child marriage within the district.
As part of the process, a team from UYAHF carried out a series of interviews between 10th to 12th November as a follow-up to the stakeholders’ consultative meeting on 13th August 2021 at the Rukurato hall that brought together the adolescents and advocacy Youth champions, district political leadership, district security, district health office, and other district departments.
The consultative meetings ably articulated the causes of increased child marriage and teenage pregnancies but fell short on practical solutions to address the problem. The key informant interviews seek clarity on practical local solutions to the problem.
“Through these interviews, we seek solutions to the health services provision, policy implementation, human resources, financing, essential medicines, and health supplies, technology, and health information, governance, and stewardship,” Says Nakyegera Norah, an Advocacy and Campaigns Officer, UYAHF.
During the three-day informant interviews, diverse people were interviewed such as religious leaders, cultural leaders, probation officers, District Education Officers, health workers, resident state attorneys among others.
The respondents helped the UYHAF team have a better understanding of how policies are being implemented within the district if the district has any finances that are directed at responding to the issues of teenage pregnancy and child marriage, the district status when it comes to the provision of sexual and reproductive health services among others.
The respondents further shared several recommendations on how to respond to the issue of teenage pregnancy and child marriages such as an increase in funding allocated to the children, youth, and adolescent’s issues.
District officials also stressed the need to fund the district coordination structures to help in their sustainability, facilitate young people and health workers to carry out weekly school outreaches where they avail Sexual Reproductive Health information to pupils and students, identify male champions to address the challenge of poor male involvement when it comes to issues of parenting, family planning among others.
According to Norah, these findings will be shared during the upcoming joint multi-stakeholder validation meeting to build consensus for the cost District Action Plan.