More than 850 girls between the ages of 10 and 19 years have been impregnated in Nyandarua County between January and June 2020, a report has revealed.
The National council for population distribution report attributes the teenage pregnancies to poverty, social media ,prolonged closure of schools and poor parenting among many factors.
The council also blamed the increased teenage pregnancies to lack of reproductive health knowledge as a key contributor of the worrying trend.
It further lined up measures that they deem appropriate in mitigation.
- Parents to receive messages on how to guide their teenage children
- Teenagers will be guided on appropriate ways to use social media
- Conveyance of reproductive health messages to the community and especially adolescents.
Data from the survey also reveal that the long closure of schools has cut off girls from teachers who can sound the alarm in suspected cases of sexual abuse back at home.
Many student are idling and at the same time, curfews have trapped girls in their houses but cases of girls being abused by their relatives have also been on the rise with the closure of schools.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has sent out a strong warning to culprits who will be found culpable. They will face the full force of the law
The president instructed National Crime Research Centre (NCRC) to investigate the vices and report on the same by the end of July.
NCRC is expected to also kick start the prosecution of the offenders with reports showing that 38 counties had reported sexual and gender-based violence incidents since COVID-19 broke out.
A report published the reliefweb in July 25 also linked lockdown to the high number of unintended teen pregnancies in the country.
Plan International Kenya’s Country Director,Kate Maina-Vorley, said that many teenage girls have fallen pregnant during lockdown, which can have lifelong consequences for them.
“We are extremely concerned about their wellbeing and their access to health care and other support services. Our research shows that the majority of teenage pregnancies are unintended. Even before the crisis, girls and young women in Kenya faced considerable challenges in accessing essential health information and services. Now, amid a pandemic that is straining even the strongest healthcare systems, there is a real risk that sexual and reproductive health and rights will be deprioritised, with devastating consequences for girls and women.” she said.
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