Medical Doctor at Catholic Entity in Uganda Spearheading Initiative to Help Pregnant Girls

Some pregnant women and single mothers at Doctors with Africa CUAMM in Uganda. Credit: Doctors with Africa CUAMM

A volunteer medical doctor with Doctors with Africa CUAMM in Uganda has said that the Italy-based non-governmental organization focused on healthcare is training midwives through an initiative dubbed “Adolescent project” to safeguard pregnant girls in the East African country.

In a Friday, March 18 report, Dr. Virgilia Mazza who serves at Aber in Uganda’s Catholic Diocese of Lira looks back at the recent rise of early pregnancies saying amid COVID-19 restrictions, young girls became victims of sexual violence.

“This is why the training of midwives is fundamental,” Dr. Mazza says in reference to the situation of young girls who have been victims of sexual violence, adding that midwives “are the first point of reference for women.”

In a bid to address the challenges faced by victims of sexual violence, “CUAMM has promoted the Adolescent Project, a training course for local midwives held in Anyeke by doctors and police personnel,” Dr. Mazza told the information service of Propaganda Fide, Agenzia Fides.

In the report, the volunteer medical doctor with the Catholic entity says that the training is a “two-day course on topics ranging from violence, treated in relation to the environment and the different sectors of which it is a part, to health and legal assistance.”


He says that the initiative involves checkups, prenatal exams, and how to handle most challenging situations in view of protecting the health of mothers.

The goal of the incentive, Dr. Mazza says, “is to ensure proper training for midwives, because they are the ones who will also have to deal with cases of sexual abuse and violence.”

He says that the midwives come from remote areas of the East African country and that the onset of COVID-19 pandemic was a major hindrance as some of them could not attend the trainings.

“The means of transport are scarce and the unexpected rain has made everything more difficult, but they have been arriving one by one, driving the typical motorcycle of these places, called a boda boda, with their children sitting in the back, trying to protect themselves from the rain with large pieces of colored cloth,” Dr. Mazza explains.

In the March 18 report, Dr. Mazza told Agenzia Fides through a note that early pregnancies, despite being as a result of violence, reflect conditions of fragility, poverty and coercion in which young women are forced to live, especially in the most remote rural areas of Uganda.

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“In the absence of schooling and health care, girls become even more vulnerable,” the volunteer medical with Doctors with Africa CUAMM, formerly known as the University College for Aspiring Missionary Doctors, says in the March 18 report.

Thanks to the initiative, he says, CUAMM “wants to promote concrete actions that, through training and dissemination, can support a system that works autonomously over time, to allow young women, the weakest part of the less fortunate half of the world, one day see their fundamental human rights protected.”

Dr. Mazza told Agenzia Fides, in reference to Uganda, that the issue of girls dropping out of school due to early pregnancy is “a phenomenon that is still widespread in the country which has serious repercussions on the lives of young girls and is an inseparable issue of human rights.”

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.