Alarming Teens Pregnancy Stage Posing Health Risks.
Early childbearing can pose health risks to both newborns and young mothers. The risks are higher for children born to teen mothers, the majority of whom have low birth weight.
According to the most recent Kenya data and health survey 2021, teen pregnancy is at an all-time high, particularly in Kiambu, implying a greater number of children at risk.
According to the eye-catching statistics released at the launch of the County Resilience and Recovery program in Ruiru, 378 pregnant girls aged 10-14 years visited various health facilities during the year.
“We acknowledge the rising number of teen pregnancies in Kiambu; however, we are working with the County government to sensitize communities,” Kiambu County Director of Gender Olympia Karimi told KNA.
She added that they are currently conducting sensitization meetings all the way down to the Sub County levels through the Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) working committees, in collaboration with the National Council for Population and Development, but that this is insufficient.
“We are still asking partners to come in and assist us reach the wider Kiambu County because currently the challenge we have is financial support for mobilizing parents and communities for sensitization meetings,” Karimi said.
She went on to say that moral behavior should be promoted among teenagers and that they have been working with church leaders from various denominations to preach on behavior change from the pulpit.
According to Mary Chebet, a mother of three, “It is traumatizing as a parent to see your baby having a baby, my daughter got pregnant when she was 13 years after her KCPE It was not easy for everyone in the family but I accepted as a parent and fully supported her. She enrolled in a day school so that she can fully breastfeed the child and I took care of the baby when she was learning,”
Chebet told KNA that the main reason for the continued rise in pregnancy cases among young girls is poverty, parental neglect, and a lack of awareness.
Unwanted pregnancies, the beginnings of sexual relationships in unsafe settings, and other difficulties faced by vulnerable teenagers often do not happen at random, but rather in the context of a background that makes them vulnerable to some misfortune, she explained.
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According to the most recent Global Childhood statistics, Kenya has the third-highest teen pregnancy rate, with 82 births per 1,000 births.