AGED BETWEEN 10 AND 19

Over 6,000 teen pregnancies in Murang'a, says report

Seventy per cent of men responsible for the pregnancies are above 50 years old

In Summary

. At least 140 girls aged 10 to 14 became pregnant while 25 others aged 10 to 19 carried out an abortion.

. One in every five school going teenager gets pregnant by the age of 20.

More than 6,000 teenagers got pregnant in Murang’a last year, a county health report shows.

The girls were aged between 10 and 19. The survey was conducted by the county government in health centres in all subcounties.

At least 140 girls aged 10 to 14 became pregnant while 25 others aged 10 to 19 carried out an abortion.

Seventy per cent of the men responsible for the pregnancies were above 50 years old while 30 per cent were the girls' age mates.

According to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey, Murang’a has a youthful population with residents aged below 15 making up 37 per cent of the total population.

Half of the county’s women (aged 20-49) and men (20-54) first had sex at the age of 19.

Half of the women (25-49) are first married by the age of 21 while half of the men (30-54) by the age of 27.

The county report states that six per cent of girls aged 15 to 19 years begin child bearing.

Fertility rates for girls in that age group is 21 births per 1,000. The report says teenage pregnancies often result from low use of contraceptives.

Health workers in Murang'a stated that 4,477 girls aged between 15 and 19 were on contraceptives.

 

Another 15,070 (aged 20-24) are also on contraceptives and are believed to be pursuing university education.

The National Council for Population and Development reports that about one in every five school going teenagers gets pregnant by the age of 20

The council recommends that parents should maintain a close and strong relationship with their children and have honest communication about sex to reduce chances of early pregnancy.

Girls should be encouraged to stay in school and work hard. Counties should promote specific interventions to curb teenage pregnancies.

Retrogressive practices like FGM and early marriage should be eliminated.