Alarming Rate of Teen Pregnancy Has Got Parents Concerned

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The thought of dealing with a teen mom in these tough economic time has got parents sick in the stomach. A new survey by the National Council on Population and Development has revealed that one in five girls aged between 15 and 19 in Kenya is either pregnant or is a mother already. The data backing up the survey was collected using the Kenya Health Information System, an online reporting platform present in most local health facilities.

Of young girls aged 14 and below, Nairobi reported the highest number of underage sex crisis with 2,432. Nakuru followed with 1,748, Kajiado 1,523, Kericho 1,006, Homa Bay 957 and Garissa 901. Lamu, Embu, Kilifi, Elgeyo Marakwet recorded less than 100 cases while Isiolo country recorded the least case of only 14 teenagers.

Those aged between 15 and 19 years old, Nairobi recorded cases of 24,106 pregnant girls. Nakuru came next with 17,019, followed by Meru 15,353, Narok 14,052, Bungoma 13,920, Kiambu 13,128 and Trans Nzoia 11,687. Lamu, Embu, Wajir, Isiolo and Nyeri recorded the lowest numbers. In general, Narok County topped the list at 40 per cent, Homa Bay 33 per cent, West Pokot 29 per cent and Tana River and Nyamira at 28 per cent.

Early marriages, peer influence, rape, defilement, poverty, drug abuse and lack of youth-friendly health services, were listed among key factors which promoted teen pregnancies. Depression, suicide, abortion, interruption of schooling, maternal ill-health or morbidity and death, birth-related complications like fistula and early marriages were cited as the aftermath of teen pregnancies.

The National Council on Population and Development blamed poor parenting and an education system that ignores teachings on Parents have been reminded that they have a duty to talk to their children about the dangers of engaging in unprotected sex and be supportive of them when they fall victims.

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