Unsafe abortion and its complications is a major problem globally. In my motherland Uganda, the unintended pregnancy rate increased 19% between 1990–1994 and 2000–2004 and decreased 16% by 2015–2019. During the same period, the abortion rate increased 27%. The share of unintended pregnancies ending in abortion rose from 24% to 30%. Between 2015–2019, there were a total of 2,420,000 pregnancies annually. Of these, 1,410,000 pregnancies were unintended and 418,000 ended in abortion.
This is endangering the lives of especially many vulnerable and marginalized women of reproductive age from the community grassroots levels in Uganda. The restricted abortion law, the absence of a supportive policy environment as well as cultural and religious believes are continuously making it extremely challenging to promote, provide and uptake the available safe abortion options especially among the vulnerable and marginalized women of reproductive age from the community grassroots levels in Uganda or to even openly discuss about the issue.
To mitigate the mushrooming causes and impacts, we are doing the following;
COHERINET engages secondary schools by providing access to comprehensive sexuality education, counselling and guidance on STDs and STIs, empowering young people to know and exercise their rights including the right to delay marriage and the right to refuse unwanted sexual advances.
We work to ensure health services and supportive programmes are available to young people who are vulnerable and marginalized in schools majorly focusing on those grass root communities in Uganda.
We partner with stake holders and organizations to advocate for provision and support the efficient delivery of a holistic, youth-friendly health-care package of services and information like access to accurate sexual and reproductive health information, safe and affordable contraceptive methods in universities, prevention and management of sexually transmitted infections and sensitive counselling.
We ensure provision of comprehensive SRH services not limited to abortion in the higher institutions of learning as these are a very exposed target group and sexually active. We do this through medical camps and integrated sessions at these institutions.
School Drop Outs
Uganda has a fast growing number of school drop outs many coming from unintended pregnancies and the high poverty level who should not be left behind in our work.
COHERINET works to ensure health services and supportive programs are available to young school drop outs who are vulnerable and marginalized in the hard to reach grass root communities in Uganda. We reach out to them with sensitization sessions, through our various strategies comprehensively reaching out to them.