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Community decries surging cases of teenage pregnancies

Residents of Bware village in south Kanyamkago ward, Uriri Sub County within Migori County have raised an alarm over increasing cases of teenage pregnancies in the area.

The community members contended that if the situation is not arrested in time, many young girls who are potential victims may be forced to drop out of school.

The fear over the illicit pregnancies came out during an open dialogue between community members and community health volunteers (CHVs) during which the villagers got an opportunity to discuss the medical challenges they faced on a day to day basis.

During the talks dubbed “The Sigiria Medical Education Camp (Meducamp) initiative”, a Community Health Volunteer Ms Emily Madegwa lamented over lack of information and sensitization to the young girls on their sexual health.

She blamed the ballooning cases of pregnancy on ignorance and naivety of the girls who are easily duped by their peers into unprotected sexual intercourse.

“These young girls are lured into sex by their male peers who after dropping out of school engage in bodaboda business and get quick money with which they use to confuse them,” she said.

With the long closure of schools this time round, the villagers feared that a large number of their girls could likely plunge into immoral sexual escapades leading to unwanted pregnancies.

Ms Madegwa added that lack of adequate sensitization programmes on sexual reproductive health is among the key contributors to teen pregnancies in the community.

During the half-day community health dialogue, the health volunteers heard from the local people about the ailments and other medical-related challenges affecting the community.

Poor infrastructure and fairly distant located dispensaries and health facilities are also other challenges that the community faces.

Sigira Meducamp is an initiative bringing together various professionals in the health sector who volunteer to give back to the community.

The initiative is aimed at bringing free medical camps to help solve medical challenges facing the community.

John Roche the chair of Sigira Meducamp initiative outlined that public health has been devolved to allow members of the community to have a say on the medical gaps existing in their locality and how to address them.

“The Ministry of Health directive on community health begins at the community level.  Therefore, we came here to solicit the community’s opinions so that we can be guided on how to prioritise health actions,” he said.

“Out of the feedback from this forum, we will be able to mobilize resources, as well as position our doctors, nurses and other medical service providers for improved service provision,” reiterated Roche.

He further noted that the information gathered would make it easier for well-wishers, resource mobilizers and donors to channel medical support in areas of greatest need.

Roche stressed the need to sensitise young girls on keeping themselves safe from getting unwanted pregnancies at a tender age.

By Polycarp Ochieng’ and George Agimba

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