While focusing on the challenges a university student faces, pregnancy is one of the most unfortunate situation a student would want to get involved with. This is always because they are not ready to be parents and sometimes they are unsure about the father of the child since they sleep around with different men at the same time for benefits such as money and gifts among others. However, unplanned pregnancies still happen among university students. according to the findings by the Center of Reproductive Rights in Uganda, it is revealed that the legal and policy framework is much more expansive than most people believe and that opportunities exist for providing safe and legal abortion services in Uganda for example the 10 key points about Uganda’s laws and policies on termination of pregnancy, the Uganda Shadow Letter and Concluding Observations: CEDAW 2010.
Rosemary Nasanga a counselor at the Counselling Centre Makerere University highlights that students who are unprepared for pregnancy need to know their resources especially how they can protect themselves and how they can deal with the situation incase they are unable or are unwilling to have the child.
Campus life is hard enough that a student needs serious hard work and self-motivation to survive retakes and being broke among other tragedies. Unfortunately, unplanned pregnancies do happen. The number of girls getting pregnant while at Makerere University is quite high.
How a student decides on their unplanned pregnancy is very personal. I don’t advocate for one choice over the other; however, since its ones choice to make, a variety of resources must be readily available for those seeking help.
The Counseling Center provides counseling and emotional help for students who are in need of support. Students can come in completely lost and be directed towards their best options in a confidential setting.
Counselors can set students up with other services, direct them to support groups and provide them with short-term counseling, regardless of the choices they make regarding the pregnancy.
Marie stopes Uganda also offers women with confidential resources along the way. Aside from providing contraception and home pregnancy tests, students can speak with a women’s health nurse regarding their choices, where they will be provided with additional counseling and other options
Reaching out and utilizing resources depend on action. Denial is a large part of unplanned pregnancies; students can be scared of the choice they will eventually have to make.
The Counseling Center empowers pregnant girls to accept the new changes and continue living like other students. The university hospital also allows them to have their antenatal services to ensure they are healthy at a free cost.
However, some students realize that being pregnant while at campus is not the best option for them.
In this case, they can seek for advice about pregnancy and parenthood and learn about other options.
Students need to realize that they do not have to be alone in the decision-making process and that there are several locations available for them when they are in trouble.
No one should have to feel like there’s nowhere for them to turn, and no one for them to talk to. There are always people you can turn to, and this campus makes sure there are places that can help students in difficult situations.
COMPILED BY KEMIGISHA SAUBA
MARY GOLD ADONGO