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We need holistic approach in taming teen pregnancies-Activists

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[Haki Africa Deputy Executive Director Salma Hemed. Photo/Atrash Bwana].

Coast based Gender and child rights activists have called for a holistic approach in fighting teen pregnancies in the region.

The activists warn if the problem is not properly fought, it will force many young girls out of school when learning resumes in 2021.

Human rights Organisation Haki Africa Deputy Executive Director Salma Hemed said the social problem is very worrying and multi-sectoral approach is urgently needed.

According to Salma, the community has a very huge role to play in protecting children from sexual abuse.

4,000

“These figures are very worrying, more than 4,000 girls have been impregnated in just three months?” she posed.

Ms Hemed urged government agencies to involve various stakeholders including human rights organisations, women and children rights networks among many other stakeholders in containing the social vice.

Some of these pregnancies may be as a result of rape cases and we have seen how slow the process of securing justice for the victims is,” she noted.

Kilifi County remain in the lead with more than 3,337 teen pregnancy cases.

Mombasa has so far recorded 941 cases.

Salma said the statistics may increase since children will remain at home until January 2021 when learning will resume.

She urged men to join the noble course of securing children’s future.

Boda boda

Reports from relevant national and county government departments show that majority of girls between the age of 10 and 19 years were impregnated from March after schools were closed over the Covid-19 pandemic.

Boda boda operators have also been blamed for luring young girls with offers of free rides to and from schools in exchange for sexual favours.

Recently, Coat Regional Commissioner John Elungata chaired a stakeholders meeting urging everyone to take responsibility in fighting teen pregnancies in the region.

He said the pregnancies not only disrupt young girls’ quest for education but also pose a serious physical and psychosocial health challenges to the young girls.

“We must treat this matter seriously and those responsible must be exposed and punished according to the law. Like all other preventive programs we are running, we must deal with those preying on school girls,” said Elungata.