Home > Counties > Stakeholders vow to end teenage pregnancies

Stakeholders vow to end teenage pregnancies

Various stakeholders have vowed to put an end to the worrying trend of teen pregnancies and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Laikipia County.

Laikipia East Assistant County Commissioner Patrick Ombogo speaking during the International Day of the Girl child that was commemorated yesterday at Olokirisiai primary school, Chumvi in Laikipia East, appealed to the community and other partners to work in harmony and sensitize girls on issues of teen pregnancy and FGM which he noted, were heinous acts shrouded in secrecy.

“As a government, we are tackling this problem through a multi-agency approach, we are bringing all the actors together so that at the end the community is fully sensitized,” said the ACC.

The International Day of the Girl Child is marked on October 11, annually and this year’s theme was “Our time is now, our rights, our future.”

Laikipia North health official, Simon Shuel speaking at the same function that had attracted various stakeholders drawn from both the government and private sectors, revealed that, in every 20 pregnancy cases reported at their hospital facilities in a month, about 13 are teenagers.

“We have a lot of challenges, our children are getting pregnant at an early age, if you visit our hospitals, about 20 mothers give birth monthly and out of those you will find girls aged between 12 and 16 years,” revealed Shuel.

“They don’t even have identification cards and when you ask, we are told it’s the wife of a certain old man. There is a major problem,” he lamented.

The health official further pointed out that, with teenage pregnancies, there are a lot of complications since they have not attained the age to give birth.

“We should ask ourselves as parents if there has been any loose change that has led to an increase of teenage pregnancy or if it’s our girls or boys to blame. We should be responsible enough,” Shuel appealed to the parents and girls who had gathered to for the celebration.

Laikipia county Gender Coordinator Ms. Karen Kiogora said girls needed to be empowered on matters affecting them in society.

“We have to address the empowerment of the girl child in decision-making. They don’t necessarily have to rely on their parents for advice because some parents are not willing to change the retrogressive culture affecting their girls. We urge the girl child who is educated and sensitized to make positive decisions,” pointed out Ms. Kiogora.

Laikipia North Sub-County Children officer Apopo Warren said that the government in partnership with United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) had trained six children protection volunteers in the area who had been tasked to oversee children’s rights in their area of jurisdiction.

“We face numerous challenges since this is a pastoralist community and they are deep-rooted in their culture, however, we have tried to sensitize them to ensure they understand the constitution is the supreme law of the land,” Apopo said.

Meanwhile, the Chumvi community which is mostly inhabited by pastoralists was urged to take advantage of the Ingwesi community resource centre and equip themselves with the requisite knowledge. The resource centre, which started about a year ago, is the only education facility in the Chumvi area.

International day of the girl child held yesterday was supported by Mukogodo Girls Empowerment Program, a community-based organization in Laikipia North.

By Muturi Mwangi

Leave a Reply