Rising Number of Teen Pregnancies in Kakamega Blamed on Irresponsible Parents
The government is concerned about rising teen pregnancies in Kakamega.
At least 50 cases are reported every month in the Mumias West sub-county. This is according to a Ministry of Health report.
The report was endorsed by Mary Kunyo, the sub-county reproductive health coordinator, who revealed that the affected girls range in age from 12 to 16.
Kunyo said the figure means the sub-county is the most affected by teenage pregnancies in the region, speaking at an event hosted by the International Committee for the Development of Peoples in Musanda, Mumias West.
“Every month we record at least 50 cases of teenage pregnancies here. But those are just the ones we get to know of because there are many others that go unreported,” Kunyo said.
She blamed the rise on parents’ failure to exercise parental oversight over their children’s behavior and upbringing.
Kunyo claims that the girl child has been left in the care of teachers and organizations, with parents taking a back seat.
She urged parents not to abandon their daughters and to ensure that victims of teen pregnancy and teenage mothers attend school and complete their education.
“Let the parents know that they can still educate their girls even when they are pregnant or after giving birth. It’s not the end of the road. Just focus on what the girl can become, not the mistakes they made,” Kunyo said.
She stated that teenage pregnancies should not be used to deny young girls the opportunity to pursue their dreams and become better citizens.
She stated that an organization like CISP had played a significant role in mentoring, raising awareness, and guiding these young mothers.
Kunyo asked parents to do their part to ensure that girls in such situations complete their studies.
Child protection officer Fredrick Omollo stated that they have collaborated with CISP to ensure that all pregnant teenagers in the region receive the support they need to complete their education.
Omollo stated that CISP takes 25 girls through comprehensive mentorship sessions twice a month.
It also ensures that they have access to educational resources such as bursaries and support kits.
Dorcas Wakasa, the sub-county children officer, urged for collective responsibility in the protection of children of all genders.
She urged the community to band together in the fight against all forms of child abuse and exploitation.
Wakasa said the new Children’s Act of 2022 calls for a shared responsibility to protect children.” Gender is an all-inclusive issue.
He said Child abuse and exploitation in any form, including GBV, must be combated.