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Nearly 4,000 girls in Kenya impregnated in 5 months

Author: Daily Nation | Published: Friday, June 19, 2020

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More than 28 under-age girls on average became pregnant daily in Machakos County in Kenya in the last five months, a new Health Information System survey has revealed.

 

The data shows that a total of 3,964 girls aged 19 years and below were reported pregnant within that period.

Athi River is the most affected area while Kalama has the least number of reported pregnancies among girls of school-going age according to the data obtained from hospitals and which the Nation has seen.

The cases peaked in March.

Machakos County Children Officer Salome Muthama said the reported pregnancy cases among school girls are much less than the actual numbers.

BIGGER CRISIS

The worrying trend has been linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, with authorities expressing fear that the data points to a bigger crisis.

Authorities partly blame parents and an ineffective justice system for the crisis that has got the region talking.

“Most of these cases you will find involve children who were taken from urban centers in the wake of Covid-19 and left in the hands of their grandmothers in the countryside as the parents returned to the towns,” Ms. Muthama told reporters in Machakos Town.

SEX PESTS

She was speaking on the sidelines of the celebrations to mark the Day of the African Child on Tuesday.

She noted that teenage girls are exposed to sex pests since the grandparents are unable to monitor them closely.

She called for concerted efforts to reverse the worrying trend, saying the unprecedented number of teenage pregnancies in the region portend a high school dropout rate and early marriages.

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