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Eastern Equatoria records over 100 teenage pregnancies

Author: Garang Abraham | Published: Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Eastern Equatoria State | Credit | Wikipedia

Eastern Equatoria State authorities say the redundancy caused by Covid-19 lockdown has left over 125 teenage girls pregnant since the emergence of the virus in South Sudan.

In March, the government imposed some restrictions such as the closure of borders, non-essential businesses, interstate travel, and limited public transport.

President Kiir also suspended learning institutions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.

It has been four months now since the announcement was made and the government continues to maintain its position keeping schools closed until coronavirus is eradicated.

This continuous redundancy, according to Odumtulla Hillary Okumu, Eastern Equatoria State acting director-general of education, may lead to many school dropouts.

Hillary Okumu stressed that the State Ministry of Education recorded 17 more cases of teenage pregnancies in the past two weeks of July alone.

He added that last month, the former Torit State ministry of education had announced 108 cases of teenage pregnancies reported from the former counties since the closure of schools across the country.

The Director General stressed that the longer the lockdown continues, the more likely both girls and boys will drop out of school.

Teenage pregnancies have been reported in other parts of the country.

In May this year, the Ministry of General Education and Instructions reported 23 cases of teenage pregnancies in Western Equatoria State.

Last week, UNICEF and UNESCO called on the government to review COVID-19 measures on school closure, claiming that some “evidence points to harm being done to children by not being in school”.

But Kuyok Abol Kuyok, undersecretary at the Ministry of General Education said it is not safe to reopen schools, saying the spread of COVID-19 will increase by next week.

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