The transition from childhood to teenage stage is a critical moment in one’s life cycle and presents with complex psychological challenges, opportunities and risks such as teenage pregnancy (TP). It predisposes to increased risk of adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes. Uganda has a high teenage pregnancy rate averaging 25%. Quite often solutions directed against it fail to deliver desired results. This study reports effects of, risk factors, and remedies from the teenagers’ perspective in Bududa district.
Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was employed. Using interviewer administered questionnaires; quantitative data amongst 150 randomly sampled teenagers was collected. Data were entered into Microsoft Excel and imported to SPSS version 16 for analysis. Simple proportions were used to describe categorical and numerical data.
Results: Mean age of participants was 16.9yrs (IQR16- 18yrs).The majority, 59.3 % were below 18 years with 4.7% being 13yr olds. The majority, 69.4% were lowly educated, none was formally employed while 64% were married. Knowledge of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) was low. Possible risk factors to teenage pregnancy included cultural events, poverty and fertility testing. The majority associated TP with various negative social and health outcomes. Suggested remedies against TP included early age and school based SRH programs and provision of long term contraception.
Conclusion: Teenage pregnancy is a public health problem in Bududa and victims suffer various adverse effects. Provision of SRH services, incorporating comprehensive sex education in the school curriculum and improved supervision during social-cultural gatherings is critical in fighting TP.