Makerere University researchers have recommended strategies to support the teenage girls who become pregnant during the CoVID-19 Lock down back into school including supporting the schools to care for these girls.
Researchers also recommend incorporating sexuality education early in the current curriculum to improve awareness among these teenage girls in school in order to reduce teenage pregnancy.
In addition, the Makerere dons have recommended community campaigns during long periods of out-school including lockdowns to guide teenagers on consequences of early sexual activities and training programs to empower parent-child discussions on sex emphasized.
Makerere University School of Psychology obtained a grant from Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovation Fund 3 (Mak-RIF 3) to conduct a baseline study titled, “The aftermath of COVID-19 School Closures: Exploring the Re-entry of Pregnant Girls and Teenage Mothers into Schools”. The research sites included Kampala, Lyantonde and Buikwe districts in Busoga sub region.
The research team was composed of Dr. Richard Balikoowa from the School of Pyschology (CHUSS) and Principal Investigator, Dr. Lydia Nakiyingi (Mak CHS) and Dr.Lydia Namatende-Sakwa from Kyambogo University among the project members and the Remnant Generation as a research collaboration organization.
Speaking during the third Research dissemination held on Thursday 18th January, 2024 at Makeree University, Dr. Balikoowa said over 2400 girls got pregnant during the lockdown; though recurrent while closely related challenges are: gender-based violence, early marriage, socio-cultural norms and school dropout.
Balikoowa observed that the Revised Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Teenage Pregnancy in School Settings in Uganda (2020) provides supportive framework to curtail such factors to dropout, but lacks track of implementation.