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Teen pregnancy on the rise with learners on long holidays

Teen pregnancy is on the rise even as learners continue enjoying their long holidays, with schools expected to be opened on January 23, 2023.
According to various experts, the long holidays might make the number of teen pregnancies rise even further.

In Isiolo County, cases of teen pregnancies in the last 11 months stands at 1,458. Isiolo County Commissioner, Geoffrey Omonding has called upon all stakeholders, including parents, to take good care of their children during this holiday season.

“We do not want the number to rise, we call upon all the stakeholders to take part and talk to our girls. We need to teach our girls the importance of education,” said Omonding.

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The teenage pregnancy and motherhood rate in Kenya stands at 18 per cent. This means that one in every five teenage girls between the ages of 15-19 years, have either had a live birth or are pregnant with their first child.

The rate increases rapidly with age from 3 per cent among girls aged 15 to 40 per cent among girls aged 19. A recent report by the government shows that Kenya ranks third worldwide in teenage pregnancies.

Human rights organisations and gender activists are now calling for a robust strategy to tame this menace, which spells doom for girls if not tamed.
Last year, Nairobi led with 2,379 teenage pregnancy cases, an decrease from 2020 when the cases were 2,598.

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The capital city was followed by Homa Bay which had 1,530 cases, Kajiado had 1,496, Mandera had 1,370 and Bomet had 1,041 cases.

Counties which reported high adolescent pregnancy among girls aged 15 to 19 in 2021 include Bungoma with 10,291, Meru with 10,406, Kakamega with 11,594, Narok with 9,879 and Nairobi with 13,319 cases.

The report also indicated that teenage pregnancy is multifaceted with major drivers varying across counties.

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