• Good Santas and pragmatic parents and institutions will fill Christmas stockings with condoms.
• Cheap Santas and Scroogelike parents and institutions will fill Christmas stockings with lumps of coal and say Bah humbug.
The risk of teenage pregnancies, the effects of risky sexual behaviours and the lack of condoms are significant concerns that urgently need to be addressed. It's probably too late this Christmas.
These issues can have severe consequences for young people's health and well-being, and long-term effects on the population's overall health.
According to the United Nations Population Fund data, Kenya has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancies in the world. Nearly one in four girls between the ages of 15 and 19 become pregnant.
This trend is particularly concerning because teenage pregnancies can negatively affect a young girl's education. Many girls are forced to drop out of school due to pregnancy and motherhood's physical and emotional challenges.
This can limit their future opportunities and earning potential and contribute to the poverty cycle in their communities.
Risky sexual behaviour among young people during this festive season will also have adverse effects. It will increase the risk of STIs and unintended pregnancies, which can have long-term consequences for young people's physical and emotional well-being.
In addition, engaging in risky sexual behaviour can cause conflicts and interpersonal issues within families and communities. It can contribute to the spread of HIV, which is currently high among the young demographic.
The lack of condoms in Kenya is another issue that needs to be addressed. When condoms are not readily available, people may be unable to protect themselves and their partners from the risks associated with unprotected sex.
There may be cultural or religious barriers to their use and a lack of education and access to sexual and reproductive health services.
However, condoms are essential commodities for the country to have a stock out on. This will make it difficult for young people to obtain condoms for their protection.
The government and other organisations must provide young people with education and support to address these issues. This can include providing accurate information about the importance of condoms and how to use them properly and making sure that condoms are readily available and affordable.
It is also vital to ensure that young people have access to sexual and reproductive health services to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.
Parents should not be left out in this conversation; in this festive season, they should be aware of their child's lives and be present, as this will primarily contribute to averting the possible doom on the way.
By addressing these issues, we can help to improve the health and well-being of young people in Kenya.
Communications officer at Centre for the Study of Adolescence. @emmanuellee254