teenage pregnancy

Call to Scale Up Fight Against GBV

Zambia’s local government and housing minister, Emmanuel Chenda, believes there is a need for concerted family and community-based activities to supplement government efforts in combating early marriages, teenage pregnancies and gender-based violence (GBV).
 
Chenda is saddened by the increase in cases of early marriages, teenage pregnancies and GBV in that country.
 

Project Targets Teenage Pregnancy

Save the Children has launched a three-year project geared at reducing teenage pregnancies in Ntcheu, Malawi, to complement government’s work in the promotion of girls' education in the country.
 
Speaking during the launch ceremony in Ntcheu, Save the Children programme manager, Frank Mwafulirwa, argued that incidences of teenage pregnancies contribute highly towards girl's school dropout rate in the country especially in primary schools.
 

Teenage Mums Require Support

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says the only one in three teenagers who fall pregnant continues her education after delivery, despite the South African Schools Act, which says that ‘girls who become pregnant should not be denied access to education.’
 
The UNFPA estimates that 51 000 South African schoolgirls gave birth in 2011 and the Department of Health reports that eight percent of the women who give birth in public hospitals and clinics are less than 18 years old.
 

Teens Admit to Having Unsafe Sex

The Gauteng Department of Social Development says that most teenagers in the province admit to preferring unsafe sex.

Social development MEC, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza, who briefed the media on the department study, ‘Factors Associated with Teenage Pregnancy in Gauteng Province’, pointed out that teen pregnancies are a problem that could not be ignored.

Mayathula-Khoza, who is of the view that teenage pregnancy contributes the level of unemployment, also added that, “…girls who fall pregnant have a right to continue with school.”

NGO Makes Case for Sex Education in Schools

The Swedish Association for Sex Education (RFSU) has termed teachers' difficulties and discomfort in teaching key sex education topics as a challenge that needs to be urgently addressed.

RFSU project manager, Dr Cuthbert Maendaenda, says that in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, many teachers have in most cases failed to overcome their personal motives towards issues in sex education, hence denying students understanding of some crucial aspects.

Learners See Need for Sex Education

Children in sub-Saharan Africa are highly aware of the sexualised world they live in and are at dire risk falling pregnant or contracting HIV/AIDS or both as teenagers if they are treated as mere innocents.

According to a study by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and Cambridge University, children themselves say they want to discuss sex because they see evidence of it all around them in any case.

Sex Education Recommended for Primary Schools

Experts in education, children’s rights and HIV/AIDS say primary school pupils are far more willing to talk about the risks and role of sex in their communities than adults realised.

They believe that statistics such as the 24.4 percent pregnancy rate among girls in grades 8-11 shown by the 2008 South African National Youth at Risk Survey, are a reason for schools to tackle the issue.

Pregnant Girls Urged to Return to Classroom

The Gauteng Department of Education says that girls who fall pregnant at school have to be encouraged to return and finish their education.

Speaking at an education colloquium in Johannesburg, Barbara Creecy, pointed out that children who stay on course are more likely to be employed as adults, less likely to be caught up by crime and are healthier.

The meeting was attended by educationists, academics and a number of civic organisations to discuss ways to stop children from dropping out of school before they finish Matric.

NGOs Criticises Zille’s Teen Bursaries

NGOs have slammed Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, for awarding bursaries to teenage girls who did not fall pregnant while at school.

Molo Songololo director, Patric Solomons, has expressed concern about the awards because the responsibility is placed on teenage girls when the issues in their communities and homes are much larger.

Solomons points out that these 14 girls, who received bursaries worth R10 000 as part of the Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Project, are confronted with a whole lot of social pressures.

UNICEF Speaks Out on Pregnant Girl’s Deaths

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) says pregnant girls aged between 15 and 19 account for 70 000 of the 500 000 deaths related to childbirth complications worldwide.

UNICEF executive director, Ann Veneman, points out that forced marriages are a contributing factor to girls’ vulnerability to early pregnant, contracting HIV and being sexually abused. She was speaking at the launch of the 2009 State of the World’s Children in Johannesburg.

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