Teen pregnancies are a major challenge for socioeconomic development because they deprive our young girls the opportunity to further their education and attain their career goals. It also exposes them and their children to major health risks. According to World Health Organisation, “pregnancy and childbirth complications are the leading cause of death among girls aged 15–19 years globally.”
While teenage pregnancy in Kenya is high and needs to remain at the top of the government’s political agenda, it sporadically gets into public discourse triggered by certain events, after which it gets buried and we continue with business as usual.
To turn the tide and protect our young girls from teen pregnancies, there is urgent need to address systemic drivers of teen pregnancies by fully funding and consistently implementing cost-effective programs. Cultural, religious, and socio-economic factors that contribute to this problem are multiple and layered and interventions for addressing these are well known. We need to confront hard truths and realities of the issue with honesty and openness.
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