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Early pregnancy on rise in refugee camps

By Gaaniko Samson  

Teenage pregnancy is on rise among South Sudanese refugees living in Bidi Bidi settlement Uganda, said World Vision.

World Vision is one of the international organizations supporting the refugees living in the settlement. It attributed the rise in early pregnancy to the coronavirus lockdown.

Sliver Nanono, acting child protection officer at World Vision Uganda said from March to May, eleven cases of teenage pregnancy have been registered and reported in the camp.

She said there were many cases that may be in existence but remained unreported.

She said although there have been more cases for defilement; teenage pregnancy seems to be increasing highly in this period of coronavirus pandemic.

The refugees are struggling to adhere to lockdown amidst challenges, a 21-year-old girl Josephine Opani said, “At least I try to show social distancing, wear facemask and wash hands regularly.”

She said they have tried to stay at home despite the challenges as they were not used to such life, “People are complaining because there is no money when you go to the health Centers the drugs are not given.”

She said many refugees did not have money to buy drugs to treat other diseases that they were suffering from.

Bidi Bidi hosts about 231,000 refugees and majority of them are South Sudanese.

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