KAMPALA — The deputy speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa has called for increased investment in sexual reproductive health to prevent child marriages and teenage pregnancies among girls.
According to Tayebwa, focus should be put on prevention of teenage pregnancies among girls, as opposed to handling pregnancies.
“More investments should be made in prevention than handling a pregnancy. Instead of saying this child is pregnant, how do we handle this pregnancy, let us actually put more effort in prevention of these pregnancies,” Tayebwa said.
He made the remarks on Monday, during a meeting with UK Parliamentarians under the group, All Party Parliamentary Group on Population development and reproductive health
The British MPs, who are currently in Uganda, for a working visit on sexual reproductive health (SRH) and related matters, met the speaker at his chambers on Monday morning.
In his remarks, the Deputy Speaker, pointed out Poverty as one of the key drivers to sexual reproductive health problems and gender based violence.
He noted that because of Poverty, many men have neglected their responsibilities of taking their children to school and instead married them off at a young age, thus getting pregnant.
“Poverty is the biggest challenge, children get married at a very young age, just because parents cannot pay for their fees,” Tayebwa said.
The deputy Speaker however expressed optimism that with the introduction of Government’s wealth creation program, the Parish Development Model (PDM), Uganda will be able to reduce on the poverty levels among Ugandans.
He Implored the British Parliamentarians to take keen interest in the Parish Development Model, which he said pays particular attention to addressing poverty and issues of mindset among Ugandans.
“I would like you to get interested in the Parish Development Model, when someone embraces it, they are able to feed for their families, but again, save some money and take their families to hospital,” he said.
Tayebwa noted that the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Government is paying more attention to the health sector, by ensuring attraction and retention of health workers.
He said the Government had in the next financial year 2022/2023, allocated billions of money (Sh495b) towards enhancement of salaries for science teachers and health workers across the board.
“We are looking at each constituency having a health center four and we are really working much on that instead of having health facilities that don’t help much,” he said.
Baroness Sugg, a UK Parliamentarian, House of Lords and leader of the UK Parliamentarians delegation, said both Uganda and the UK need to support issues of women and girls, for the growth and development of both countries.
She noted that the UK had developed an international development strategy, which among other highlights commitment made on programs on global health.
“We need to support their (women and girls) empowerment, prevent violence against women and girls and also help to educate girls. Our foreign secretary has made a commitment for more funding towards women and girls especially on issues of child marriages and female genital mutilation,” Baroness said.
Dr. Charles Ayume, the chairperson Parliamentary committee on health, told the meeting that there is need to invest in quality and healthy population for the development and growth of respective economies.