Each passing day, Uganda loses over 20 women from preventable pregnancy and childbirth related causes. The rate of teenage pregnancy in Uganda also stands at 30 percent, the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa
Half of Ugandan girls give birth before the age of 18; with young teenagers as young as 11 becoming pregnant.
It for this reason that the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Makindye District Youth Executive Committee has organized a youth music festival with the theme “Zero Tolerance to Maternal & Newborn Deaths, Change Starts with You!” to be held in Kampala on Sunday, 25th November, 2012.
The festival will raise awareness on maternal and newborn health amongst the youth and the community. It will be used to call on the individual youth, church leaders and role players in the community to take action and promote maternal and newborn health.
Young people will be the target because they make the biggest proportion of Uganda population and the mothers who are losing their lives and babies every day.
Youth groups from 15 local SDA churches of Makindye District will converge at Soya Bunga SDA church along Ggaba Road, Kampala on Sunday, 25th November, 2012 from 10:00AM to raise awareness on maternal and newborn health through music, dance and drama, poetry and photography.
Messages emphasizing behavioral change amongst the youth, abstinence and delaying sex encouraging young people to stay longer in school and avoid unsafe abortions will be spread.
They hope to achieve this through emphasizing behavioral change, abstinence and delaying sex; encouraging young people to stay longer in school, avoid unsafe abortions. The youth will also greatly emphasize male involvement ensuring that every pregnancy is planned for and supported.
The problem of maternal and newborn health in Uganda and its magnitude is big and claiming many lives that would be saved.
According to Government of Uganda statistics (Uganda Demographic Health Survey, 2011), over 20 women die every day from preventable pregnancy and childbirth related causes. The rate of teenage pregnancy in Uganda stands at 30 per cent, the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. Half of Ugandan girls giving birth before the age of 18; with young teenagers as young as 11 becoming pregnant! This is attributed to early sex, early marriages, dropping out of school, and rape among other causes, which result into unsafe abortion leading to complications, disabilities and at times death
The World Health Organization guidance on abortion-related services reveals that in Uganda, about 300,000 abortions are carried out every year.
Professor Florence Mirembe of the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at Mulago hospital said that abortion related complications were one of the leading causes of admissions to gynaecological wards in hospitals across the country.
The youth especially girls are also at a high risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, thus contributing to the 20 mothers who die daily due to preventable pregnancy and child birth related causes.