The National Government is working closely with the County Government of Narok to come up with harmonized data on teenage pregnancies in the County.
Narok County Commissioner Evans Achoki said the data will help in fighting the rampant vice as the authorities will be well informed on areas with high prevalence and put more effort in specified areas.
Achoki spoke during interdepartmental meeting held at a Narok hotel and attended by the Narok Governor’s wife, Sarah Tunai and departmental heads from both the County and National Government.
The Departments of Health, Education and Interior, will lead in the collection of data, using a laid down tool that shows the school, location and the age of the girls affected.
“Once we get this data, it will be very easy to mitigate teenage pregnancy in the County, as we will put our efforts in the most affected parts of the County,” said Achoki.
He reiterated that a minimum of one case of teenage pregnancy is reported in his office by the chiefs every week, saying this has helped in fighting the vice unlike in the past where chiefs would collaborate with the community to hide the culprits.
“We have made progress on fighting teenage pregnancies but we need to do more so that we can end the vice completely,” said the County Commissioner.
The county Commissioner said all school-going children should go to school even if they are pregnant, saying parents who kept their children at home risk being prosecuted in court of law.
“I always keep reminding my chiefs that if they rescue a girl, today and take her to school, that girl will always attribute her success in life to the Chief who made her attain education,” said Achoki.
On her part, the Governor’s wife said her office has been moving around the County since the year 2016 to hold forums with various stakeholders to fight the negative trend of teenage pregnancies.
Mrs Tunai expressed confidence that the data being collected by the three departments will be key in fighting teenage pregnancy in the County.
“The Department of Health, Interior and Education is gathering data that will be harmonized and help in getting the real facts on teenage pregnancy in the County. This is very important in planning,” said Mrs Tunai.
Narok Reproductive Health Coordinator, Kelly Ole Sidai, said the data in the Department of Health show that teenage pregnancy has gone up by 10 per cent in the County since the year 2018.
“In the year 2018, teenage pregnancy prevalence in the county was at 42.7 per cent, it reduced to 40.6 per cent in the year 2019, then to 36.9 in the year 2020 and currently at 35.2 per cent,” said Ole Sidai.
In the year 2014, the Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS) ranked Narok County, the highest nationally in teenage pregnancy at 40 per cent, way above the national average of 18 per cent.
By Ann Salaton