At just 20 years, Nabuuma Lamula, a Bukomansimbi teenage mother who started giving birth at 13 years is now expecting her fifth child.
Nabuuma is a resident of Bukomansimbi town council in Bukomansimbi district. She is a primary four dropout. She says she had her first child at 13 years although the baby died two weeks after birth.
Nabuuma however had three more babies later after with Moses Ssenkindu, a resident of Nyendo in Masaka Municipality. Nabuuma and Ssenkindu however broke up in 2012 over domestic violence. She claims that in addition to battering her almost every day, Ssenkindu did not provide basic necessities for their children.
Nabuuma is now married to Julius Kasagga, a resident of Bukomansimbi district and is expecting his first child. She says in all the other pregnancies, she had been depending on traditional birth attendants (TBA). She says TBAs gave her local herbs throughout the pregnancies and they also helped her give birth.
Nabuuma however says for this fifth pregnancy, she was advised to go for antenatal services at Butenga Health Centre IV because she started getting complications. She tells us that although she had not suffered any major complications previously, she has now started getting abdomen pains three months after getting pregnant. She also complains of headache, excessive heat in the stomach, lack of appetite and low blood supply.
Nabuuma says she will discuss with her husband possibility of stopping giving birth this year.
Dr. Alfred Kato, the In Charge of Butenga Health Centre IV says he has advised Nabuuma to either adopt family planning or stop giving birth altogether. He says Nabuuma is at risk of getting fistula complications.
Dr. Kato says 30% of expecting mothers who go for antenatal services at the facility are teenage mothers.
Peninah Tomusange Kyolaba, the Regional Coordinator of United Nations Population Fund says, poverty, cultural and religious beliefs have frustrated efforts to reduce teenage pregnancy. She claims that Muslims still encourage young girls to get married as young as 15 years.
Lillian Musisi, the Masaka district Community Development officer says government must move in to discourage the cultural and religious beliefs in the country that look at women as only good for marriage and nothing else.