Alarm raised as teenage pregnancies spike in Machakos
Machakos County has reported an increase in teenage pregnancy since the outbreak of Covid-19.
According to Machakos children’s officer Salome Muthama, 4,000 schoolgirls have been impregnated in the county since March.
Speaking at Machakos rescue center in Katoloni on Tuesday to mark the Day of the African Child, Muthama said the number could be higher than that.
The statistics were picked from cases recorded at all Machakos County hospitals.
“During this Coronavirus pandemic we have 4000 teenage girls who have been impregnated,” she said.
Salome further revealed that most of the pregnancies are as a result of defilement by close family members
About 200 of the affected girls are below the age of 14 years.
According to Muthama, it has been difficult for the girls to get justice during this period as most courts are not operating and many parents and guardians have failed to report these cases for investigations by the authorities.
“All the people who have impregnated these children needs be arraigned but it is becoming a challenge. We need special court sittings to address and deal with these cases,” she said.
Masinga sub-county is leading with more than 600 girls having been impregnated, followed by Athi River with more than 500 girls.
Machakos Senior Resident Magistrate Charles Ondieki, who was also present at the event, said their biggest challenge in handling the such cases was the shortage of advocates.
“Cases that involve children demand advocates but the problem now is to get them and as a magistrate I am not allowed to go get them,”said Ondieki.