4,000 teenage pregnancies in Lundazi a reflection of deepening problem, NGOCC
By Staff Reporter
Non-governmental Gender Organizations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) executive director Engwase Mwale says the more than 4,000 teenage pregnancies recorded in Lundazi in 2018 is a reflection of deepening problem in society as a whole.
Last week, Lundazi district health director Dr Davy Zulu, said a total of 4,124 adolescent girls accessed antenatal care services between January and December 2018 in the 52 health facilities in the district.
Mwale said the NGOCC is deeply saddened with this development as it negatively affected the girl children.
She said the increased cases of teenage pregnancies would not only have socio-economic effects on the affected girls, but their health as well.
“It is a fact that because of the teenage pregnancies, some of the girls will drop out of the education system and thus depriving them of their potential to pursue careers that can enhance their livelihoods. Further, as a result of this sad revelation, the girls are exposed to other physical, mental and psychological health complications associated with early pregnancies,” she added.
She has since called on government and other civil society organisations in Eastern Province to accelerate provision of age-appropriate sexuality education to learners and children at an early age in order to ensure that adequate and timely information on sexual and reproductive health and rights is accessed by both in and out of school youths.
Mwale said in addition NGOCC was calling upon government to prioritize school based guidance and counselling services including community role modelling mechanisms through the relevant ministries.
“ NGOCC is currently also engaging it’s network members in Eastern Province and Lundazi in particular, to help in accelerating public sensitization and awareness raising interventions especially targeting the young girls on the negative effects of teenage pregnancies,” she said.
Mwale expressed hope that this sad situation would necessitate collective and more holistic focus on redressing the vulnerability of girls and young women, especially in rural areas.