Organizations fighting out teenage pregnancies have raised concerns over high mortality rate among adolescents brought about by teenage pregnancies in the Country.
According to the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) and the National Council for Population and Development (NCPD), complications during pregnancy and childbirth are the leading causes of death for 15-19-year-old girls globally.
In Kenya, the Maternal Mortality rates are at 362 births per 100,000 births of which a majority are adolescents.
According to the 2019 statistics from the Global Childhood, Kenya has the third-highest teen pregnancy rates with 82 births per 1,000 births .In Kenya, over 500,000 adolescent girls aged 10-19 years were reported pregnant at health facilities in 2018. This was a huge increase from the 378,397 reported by Kenya’s Ministry of Health in 2017.
The organizations on Wednesday in Kapenguria launched a county technical working group to help eradicate teenage pregnancies.
Sauti Sasa Lobby Group County and National Coordinator Ms Mbuki Mburu said many young girls are dying as a result of abortion and other childbirth complications hence there is need for a multi sect oral approach to end the vice that was leading to many deaths among adolescent girls.
She said that after HIV AIDS was leading in terms of mortality rate hence teenage pregnancies deaths came second.
“Many young girls are not ready to give and we lose them in terms of death,”said Ms Mbuki.
She said that they are supporting the government’s efforts especially on the President’s commitment to end teenage pregnancy by 2030.
“Teenage pregnancy has been an issue for a long time in the country .We want to adopt the model of County technical working Group .We want to have the County working technical group and give us an opportunity and have a multi sectoral approach to the issue of teenage,”she said.
Ms Mbuki noted that West Pokot county was second with high teenage pregnancies in the Country hence has been one of the contributing counties high teenage pregnancies because Kenya is number three.
She said they need a youth led accountability model where young people are not left out.
“We need to create a safe environment for young girls to achieve their dreams in education, “she said.
Ms Mbuki said that they are organizing for the national teenage pregnancy awareness month from next month.
She noted that they need solid Sauti Sasa action groups so that their voices can be heard.
“We have two representatives in the county working in the County to hold stakeholders accountable to the commitment they make in the work plan. We want to be sending quarterly reports to the President,”she said.
North Rift National Council for Population and Development (NCPD] Coordinator Mr John Anampuih said that West Pokot was grappling with high teenage pregnancies at 29%.
“We call for a multi sectoral approach to bring to the end of the vice.We need prevention and mitigation,”he said.
At the national level Mr Anampiuh noted that there is a need to harmonize the Ministry of Health with education policies.
He said that they have engaged the community members who have been electrifying the drivers of teenage pregnancies.
“We want to focus on the boys and men who are the perpetrators of teenage pregnancies,”he said.
West Pokot County Health and Sanitation executive member Ms Christine Apokoreng noted that they have put measures in place to end teenage pregnancies in the County.
She explained that many factors are contributing to high teenage pregnancies in the county like lack of role model to guide girls on how to behave, parents failing on their duties, Technology where many children have access to phones at finger tips, no emphasis on family planning issues because we have concentrated on other services and lack youth friendly services .
“Many girls have nowhere to sleep and they opt to go the neighbors home,”said Ms Apokoreng.
AMREF health Africa generation campaign coordinator Ms Lillian Wambui said that teenage pregnancies were leading to many gender based violence cases.
“Gender based violence stands at a risk .We need more resources for poverty reduction, gender inequality in education,”said Ms Wambui.