By Namale Agnes. A chocking constipated breeze welcomes you as you enter Mityana district. The silence in the atmosphere does not only scream hopelessness but rather a stagnant state of mind, economically and socially. Mityana is one of the districts in Uganda still nursing the effects of the prolonged COVID-19 lockdown; before the pandemic hit,
By Namale Agnes.
A chocking constipated breeze welcomes you as you enter Mityana district. The silence in the
atmosphere does not only scream hopelessness but rather a stagnant state of mind, economically
and socially. Mityana is one of the districts in Uganda still nursing the effects of the prolonged COVID-19
lockdown; before the pandemic hit, Mityana district was among the districts in Uganda ranked with
the highest rates of teenage pregnancies and child marriages.
The Uganda Demographic Health Survey report, 2016 compiled 12944 teenage pregnancies and
child marriages in Mityana, and this seems to only rise drastically.
On a global scale, Uganda is ranked 16th among 25 countries with the highest rates of child
marriages, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).Even though UNs sustainable development goals (SDGs) focus on poverty alleviation, health
and equal rights, there is not much the government has done in order to realize these goals.
Uganda is a third world country, which means the country largely depends on international
support from non-government organizations and largely affected by international policies.
Many non- government organizations in Uganda recently ran out of funds used to conduct
incentives, sensitizations and charity kits for example provision of family planning kits, condoms
and health education programs.
This came about after the United States of America under president Donald J. Trump passed the
Global gag rule policy that had been rested.
The global gag rule prohibits foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who receive U.S.
global health assistance from providing legal abortion services or referrals, while also barring
advocacy for abortion law reform—even if it’s done with the NGO’s own, non-U.S. funds.
The policy allows access to abortion only in cases of rape, incest, or when a woman’s life is at risk.
President Ronald Reagan first enacted the global gag rule—also known as the Mexico City
Policy—in 1984. Every president since Reagan has decided whether to enact or revoke the
policy, making NGO funding vulnerable to political changes happening in the United States.
The rule forces organizations to choose whether to provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive
health care and education without U.S. funding, or comply with the policy in order to continue
accepting U.S. funds.
Funding for the non. government organizations in Uganda that did not comply with this policy
trickled down, which led to scarcity in service provision in the line of health outreaches, and
access to sexual and reproductive health education.
As much as the policy was intended to prohibit access to abortion services, the impacts have now
extended to the youth, poor women and teenagers at large.
Health officials in Mityana district claim to have been neglected by the government and the
district lacking funds to carry out community incentives to extend sexual reproductive education.