By Michael Odeng
With many youths having unprotected sex and fearing to bear children, most of them resort to abortion a thing which has stretched government’s budget to about sh39b.
Straight Talk Foundation Limited Executive Director, Susan Ajok said that government spends about US$14m (about 39b) annually on treating complications related to unsafe abortion with youths taking the centre stage.
She disclosed this on Friday during a fundraising ceremony at Serena Hotel in Kampala.
The ceremony was aimed at fundraising money to help address the problem of family planning, youth livelihood and climate change in the society. Ajok said they needed sh15b to address the problem.
She said that unsafe abortions have cost government US$130 (about sh364, 000) per patient annually most especially those treated in government hospitals country wide.
“This is a life venture that costs government money because they have to look for funds used to support pregnancies”. Ajok remarked.
According to a report from the ministry of health, out of 25% of female pregnancies, a quarter of girls aged 15-19 are mothers or pregnant with one child and more than 1-3 teenagers aged 15-24 have had sex.
Meanwhile, the Country Coordinator for UNAIDs, Musa Bungudu said that on average 3.6% of adolescent girls engage aged 15-24 get exposed to sexual relationships as a result of defilement, rape, peer pressure, drugs and materialism.
He said this results to poor performance in school, single mothers in the future or teen parents something that has increased HIV/AIDS tremendously in recent years, though, unfortunately 684,000 gets treatment while 700,000 people don’t.
He therefore called upon government to conduct HIV-test campaigns in every district, in order to help curb the vice. He stated that in Kampala and Wakiso district, mothers produce 40-50 children who are HIV positive weekly.
According to Uganda AIDS Commission, 570 Ugandan girls and young women aged 15 to 24 get infected with HIV every week.
Most of them have sex for money or gifts.
In addition, David Aggrey Kibenge, attached Under Secretary Finance and Administration Officer of the Prime Minister Uganda commended Straight Talk Foundation for being innovative by placing youth at the forefront as agents of change and leveraging support from various actors such as the private sector and civil society.
Having existed for 20 years, Straight Talk Foundation still focuses on adolescent sexuality, reproductive health and preventing HIV