- East Africa
Youth Music Festival to Promote Maternal and Newborn Health in Uganda
KAMPALA, Uganda, October 18, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Seventh Day Adventist Church, Makindye District Youth Executive Committee has organized a youth music festival with the theme “Zero Tolerance to Maternal & Newborn Deaths, Change Starts with You!” to be held in Kampala on Sunday, 25th November, 2012.
The purpose of the festival is to raise awareness on maternal and newborn health amongst the youth and the community.
The festival will be used to call on the individual youth, church leaders and role players in the community to take action and promote maternal and newborn health. The primary target will be the young people, because they make the biggest proportion of Uganda population and the mothers who are losing their lives and babies every day.
Youth groups from 15 local SDA churches of Makindye District will unite at Soya Bunga SDA church along Ggaba Road, Kampala on Sunday, 25th November, 2012 beginning at 10:00AM to raise awareness among the young people on maternal and newborn health through music, dance and drama, poetry and photography. The festival will carry messages emphasizing behavioral change amongst the youth, abstinence and delaying sex encouraging young people to stay longer in school and avoid unsafe abortions. We hope to achieve this through emphasizing behavioral change, abstinence and delaying sex; encouraging young people to stay longer in school, avoid unsafe abortions. Youth will also greatly emphasizing male involvement ensuring that every pregnancy is planned for and supported.
The problem of maternal and newborn health in Uganda and its magnitude is big and claiming many lives that would be saved. According to Government of Uganda statistics (Uganda Demographic Health Survey, 2011), we continue to lose over 20 women every day from preventable pregnancy and childbirth related causes. Recent reports indicate the rate of teenage pregnancy in Uganda stands at 30% the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. Half of Ugandan girls giving birth before the age of 18; with young teenagers as young as 11 becoming pregnant! This is attributed to early sex, early marriages, dropping out of school, and rape among other causes, which result into unsafe abortion leading to complications, disabilities and at times death!
The World Health Organization guidance on abortion-related services reveals that in Uganda, about 300,000 abortions are carried out every year. Professor Florence Mirembe at the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at Mulago hospital said that abortion related complications are one of the leading causes of admissions to gynaecological wards in hospitals across the country.
In addition, youth especially girls are also at a high risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, thus contributing to the 20 mothers who die daily due to preventable pregnancy and child birth related causes.
This event is free and open to the public. We therefore request you to ‘play your part’ by contributing to the success of this youth initiative in monetary terms and or in-kind support. Maternal health is not only the responsibility of mothers; it is also the responsibility of us all. Your contribution will save a life!
“Our generation will not tolerate girls and women continuing to die during pregnancy and childbirth. Change starts now! We will play our part to prevent unintended pregnancies, to raise awareness in our communities and to encourage the girls and boys to delay sex and women to seek for skilled birth attendance.”
We also call upon the Government of Uganda to ensure that youth have access to youth friendly reproductive services and information, post abortion care services and every pregnant woman has access to skilled birth attendance.
Please join us in taking a stand for the youth of Uganda!