Close

CRISIS

Let’s combineour efforts to end teen pregnancies

In Summary

• There is no single approach to end cases of unplanned pregnancies as well as its consequences; school dropouts, unsafe abortion and sexually transmitted infections.

• Rape and incest, inadequate sex education, inaccessible family planning services, poverty, and anti-family planning campaigns by the church have been blamed.

A teen pregnancy.
A teen pregnancy.
Image: COURTESY

The Kenya Demographic Health Survey 2014 shows the prevalence of teen pregnancy as follows: 33 per cent in Homa Bay, Migori (24 per cent ), Kisii (18 per cent), Siaya(17 per cent) and Kisumu(15 per cent).

Rape and incest, inadequate sex education, inaccessible family planning services, poverty, and anti-family planning campaigns by the church have been blamed.

There is no single approach to end cases of unplanned pregnancies as well as its consequences; school dropouts, unsafe abortion and sexually transmitted infections.

We must combine direct interventions, services and education through media. Comprehensive sexuality education should be accompanied by peer-to-peer approaches as young people may only open up to their age groups on issues of sexual and reproductive health.

As we promote open conversations on sexuality, we must also ensure security for family planning commodities.

Education should target anti-stigma campaigns of condom use, demystification of issues relating to family planning and sexuality. Kisumu already launched eight new adolescent-friendly service centres.

Migori’s Lwala Community Alliance specialises in healthcare education and micro-enterprise to mitigate the impact of poverty on adolescent health.

In Kisii, the Daraja United Women and Youth Empowerment organisation involves men in family planning campaigns.

Siaya’s Matibabu Foundation focuses on provision of health services, including screening for STIs while Homa Bay’s Mama County Says mentorship programme reaches out to teengirls.

These efforts should serve as best practices to reduce the national prevalence.

Network for Adolescent and Youth of Africa, Kenya