Reacting to Ms. Norah Owaraga’s opinion piece titled: “Rid Policy of Gender-Based Violence,” in which she discussed the policy and practice in Uganda of expelling pregnant girls from school, Dr. Ouma Simple, INTE-Africa Research Study Coordinator at The AIDS Support Organisation, submitted thus:
“I have been part of the many people advocating for better sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of teenagers. The issue is deep rooted in our negligence as a country in handling SRHR of teenagers.
They get pregnant because the country doesn’t allow them to access modern family planning methods even though it is well known that many of them are already sexually active. I believe that if these young girls were allowed to access family planning methods if they needed, this rampant rates of pregnancy among school going girls wouldn’t be a problem.
Secondly, the country needs to loosen its abortion policy, if we are to right our past wrongs. Otherwise, arguing that pregnant girls shouldn’t do exams is utterly pointless and irresponsible.”Dr. Ouma Simple
We agree with Dr. Ouma that we, Uganda as a nation, should reflect and re-assess our handling of SRHR of teenagers. We share Dr. Ouma’s advisory as information, but also with the hope that it will inspire positive action against the practice of expelling school girls from school when they are impregnated. Most importantly, that bys Dr. Ouma’s advisory, we may reach people among whom it may inspire action that will prevent school girls from being impregnated.