Teenage girls join sex work in Mukono

Teenage Girls from Mukono’s landing sites are joining sex work largely driven into the practice by poverty.

The underage girls have been influenced into the practice by poverty whereby parents use them as a source of generating incomes for their homes.

Most of the girls come to the landing sites to work as bar maids, house maids but the pay is not enough or they are not paid at all, which leads them into this sexual exploitation. The affected landing sites are Kalyambuzi, Damba and Kisonga.

A health worker from Mukono Dispensary made the revelation at a health stakeholders’ meeting that was held at the Mukono district headquarters.

33 participants attended the meeting including a representative from the DHO’s office, District HIV focal person, Health providers from different health centers, in-charges from different facilities within Mukono and MARPI representative.

Other participants who attended included WONETHA staff, peer educators lodge owners from Mukono and Local Council leaders.

The problem of underage sex workers worries health workers because these girls cannot negotiate for safer sex.

The health workers have urged WONETHA to find ways of helping the underage sex workers in Mukono by reaching out to them and finding organizations that can be of support the young girls until they become of age.

Health workers also promised to organize HIV Counseling and Testing services for all the landing sites in Mukono district.

WONETHA operates in five districts of Uganda namely; Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono, Buikwe and Mpigi and among its programs; one of the is organizing meetings with health stakeholders at the district level to improve the quality and access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services for sex workers.

WONETHA calls upon Government and other partners to put in place policy and other programs that will help prevent underage girls from joining sex work.