With the rising numbers of teenage pregnancies in Kenya, most parents have opted in providing teenage girls with contraceptives with the hope of to decreasing the statistics.
Many teenagers who have fallen pregnant while at school often do not return. This fact has further increased the illiteracy rate in Kenya with a very small percentage of teen mothers unable to complete studies.
Gynaecologist Dr Gerald Mutisya who is in charge of reproductive health at the Kitui Referral Hospital notes that this response has somehow come too late as many of girls have already given birth. According to Mutisya between January and May about 2,200 girls aged between 15 and 19 attended antenatal care in various facilities in Kenya.
“In the same period, about 50 girls aged between 10 and 14 sought similar services while 500 girls had babies . We have a number of youth friendly clinics that offer reproductive health services to teenagers,” said Dr Mutisya.
Reproductive and health promotion officers have been tasked to educate teenagers on reproductive health and dangers of early unprotected sexual activity.
As a way of appreciating these teen mothers Sweden Mutomo Projects International is taking teen mothers back to school to finish off and further their studies. To date 50 girls have received the full education sponsorship.
While giving a statement, the NGO’s chief executive Laureen Mwende said: “We have a team that is involved in counselling and mentoring the teen mothers. This gives them and their parents an opportunity to make informed decisions on contraceptives.”
Some girls are taken advantage of at a very tender age by mostly older men. Records say that about 40% of teen mothers are physically challenged and cannot defend themselves from abuse and injustices. As a result, the new fathers flee fearing jail time and responsibility. Parents have now taken a personal step to provide contraceptives as a measure to keep them in school.