Alarm over rise in teen pregnancies in Murang'a

CEC says schools should introduce sex education 'as children are learning from the internet'

In Summary

• Last year, after local health facilities recorded 6,579 cases from girls aged between 10 and 18. 

• Official says 27 girls have reported defilement cases to police stations and 22 suspects convicted.

Murang'a Health CEC Joseph Mbai addresses Mugeka Secondary School students
SAFEGUARDING GIRLCHILD: Murang'a Health CEC Joseph Mbai addresses Mugeka Secondary School students

Murang’a Health executive Joseph Mbai has raised an alarm over increasing cases of teenage pregnancies in the county.

This is despite a spirited fight by the county government to counter them and save teenage girls. 

Speaking during a mentorship forum at Mugeka Secondary School on Friday, the executive said he noticed the teenage pregnancy problem in the county last year after local health facilities recorded 6,579 cases.

About 170 of the cases involved girls between 10 and 14 years while the rest were between 15 and 18 years.

Early this year, Mbai sent out letters to all churches informing them of the numbers and asking for their help in mentoring youths. The CEC said this far, four men have been sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of defiling girls below 12 years.

He noted that 27 girls have reported their cases to police stations and 22 suspects convicted.

In Mugeka village, Kiharu constituency, a man is being sought for impregnating a 16-year-old Form 2 student.

The 25-year-old is said to have lured the girl into his home before defiling her. 

After opening up about her encounter, the girl was taken to Murang’a General Hospital where it was discovered that she was expectant.

In Ithanga, a man, 38, who is married with one child is being sought after impregnating a 13-year-old.

The matter has been reported at Ithanga police station.

In Kahuro, another Form 3 student is expected to deliver in two weeks. The baby was fathered by a married man who has one child.

The CEC noted that a secondary school student recently gave birth and discarded the child in a compost pit. The child was spotted by passers-by and taken to a health facility where it was saved, and the girl confessed after being traced by the local administration.

Mbai has now sent an appeal to all stakeholders to take part in the fight against teenage pregnancies to safeguard girls’ lives.

He has sent letters to the police and the Judiciary appealing for fast-tracking of investigations and determination of defilement cases, he said, accusing some parents of prohibiting their daughters from reporting such cases to avoid shame while others are bribed by suspects.

Mbai said it is the role of parents to teach their children morality and bring them up in churches. “Girls must be taught to say no to sex. Men must also know the implications of having sex with a minor and above all, every such case should be reported." 

Mbai also asked churches to organise constant mentorship forums on spirituality and morality for youths.

Schools must also introduce sex education as children have been learning about it from social media, he added, blaming the cases on increased drugs abuse, poor parenting and loose morals.

Edited by R.Wamochie