17 Oct 2017 16:30pm
RUNDU, 17 OCT (NAMPA) Nearly 5 900 teenage pregnancies were recorded in the Kavango East and West regions between April 2016 and June 2017, Chief Social Worker in the Ministry of Health and Social Services Annastacia Mulinima has said.
Speaking at a recent dialogue in Rundu on quality education in the two regions, Mulinima said the 5887 recorded teenage pregnancies is proving to be a headache for the Health Ministry and Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture.
The dialogue, organised by the Generation of Africa Intellectual Trust in collaboration with the Regional Directorate of Education, was aimed at discussing progress made and barriers encountered in the delivery of quality education in the regions after 27 years of independence.
Mulinima said poverty is one of the major contributors to the high teenage pregnancy rate.
Each case is seen on its merit where we find out what the reason is why the young girls are falling pregnant. Poverty is one of the major reasons while substance abuse is another, she said.
Mulinima said the two ministries and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare are contacted by teachers when they notice that something is wrong with a female learner.
Director of Education in the Kavango East Region, Fanuel Kapapero echoed the social workers sentiments, saying teenage pregnancy is the biggest challenge in his region.
With regards to the statistics, Kapapero said some pregnancies go unreported and the number could be even higher.
Teenage pregnancy requires stakeholders to put our heads together in tackling the issue, the director said.
Kapapero said the majority of pregnancies occur in secondary and combined schools.
Unfortunately, even learners in primary schools are producing kids, he stressed.
The directors said another challenge in the region is early marriages as both boys and girls get married while they are as young as 15 years.