Effects of teenage pregnancies on the academic performance of girls in selected schools in Mutungo Subcounty, Kampala district
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Teenage pregnancy has become a public health concern in Uganda because of its negative consequences to both the mother and child. The study was carried out to assess the effects of teenage pregnancies on the academic achievement of teenage girls in Mutungo parish. It also looked at the major causes of these pregnancies to such girls. Part of the study was also entailed finding out the suggested preventive measures against the problem including some of the possible solutions. The study was done based on already existing literature on the distressing high rates of teenage pregnancy registered every year in the country. From a number of articles reviewed, some of the major causes of teenage pregnancy among teenage girls included age (owing to the adolescent stage in girls), poverty, low academic achievement, early child marriages. Others include growing up in a single parent household, early pubertal development, a history of sexual abuse, the lack of attentive and nurturing parents, cultural and family patterns of early sexual experience, a lack of school or career goals and low self-esteem among others. Major consequences included school dropout, complicated births and abortions, often requiring emergency obstetric care, high maternal mortality rate . This is due to the fact that many teenage mothers do not have access to adequate reproductive health care and die while trying to give birth among others. Suggested treatment and solutions included promotion of youth friendly reproductive health services (YFRHS) for sexually active teenagers, guidance and counseling programs to be strengthened in schools, creating awareness through abstinence education programs, clinic-focused programs to bring about behavioral changes in the teens and for sex education to be included in the academic syllabi. Also sensitization on contraceptive use in sexually active youth, family planning services, offered at no cost, teen friendly environments, provision of adolescent clinics and the teen awareness programs by media on sexual abstinence and delaying sexual activity. The recommendations include; using the law to punish rapists and press charges that make them regret their actions, involvement of the office of the President to campaign against early marriages and school dismissal after dark. Also locally accessible schools and job creation for parents to earn money to support the girls financially and capacity building by training teachers and community members in transferring empowerment and vocational skills to girls.