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Stop adolescent pregnancies to secure girls’ future

Wednesday March 7 2018

By WINNIE NYAOKE

March is the Women’s History Month, which highlights the contribution of women to events in history and contemporary society.

I urge champions of women’s health to focus on adolescents in a bid to end teenage pregnancies. 

According to the UNFPA, more than 350,000 adolescent girls aged 10-19 became pregnant between July 2016 and June 2017, globally.

What this means for a majority of these girls is that they drop out of school, compromising their education and their ability to secure decent economic opportunities.

POVERTY
Adolescent pregnancy is a major cause of death and disability to thousands of girls in Kenya every year.

This robs girls of their potential and reinforces the vicious cycle of poverty.

Statistics show that almost one in every five girls aged 10-19 in Kenya is expectant or a mother.

Death and illness from pregnancy complications and early sexual debut are also big risks, including HIV infection that can be passed onto children.

Those who don’t die from childbirth live with disabilities for the rest of their lives.

Everyone, everywhere has a role to play in ending adolescent pregnancy and promoting girls’ progress, health and wellbeing.

Let’s encourage the next generation of girls to go beyond what they think is possible; for there is a whole world of possibilities ahead for them.

WINNIE NYAOKE, Nairobi.