Kenyan bicycle taxi drivers blamed for high cases of teen pregnancies

Boda boda riders,touts behind the high number of teenage pregnancies in Kenya

Kenya's boda boda (bicycle taxi) drivers have been blamed for the high cases of teen pregnancies in Kenya, according to a UN report.

The study shows that some 378,397 girls aged 10 to 19 became pregnant between July 2016 and June 2017 with the blame also being shifted to touts.

Narok Tops the list of counties with highest number of teenage pregnancies at 40 per cent followed by Homa Bay (33 per cent), West Pokot (29 per cent), Tana River (28 per cent), Nyamira (28 per cent), Samburu (26 per cent), Migori (24 per cent) and Kwale at 24 per cent.

Regions with the lowest teen pregnancies are Murang’a, Nyeri and Embu at six, seven, and eight percent respectively.

According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 28,932 girls aged 10 to 14 became pregnant in the said period while the number for 15 to 19-year-olds stood at 349,465.

“Touts, boda bodas, discos at funerals and child marriages are the main causes of the pregnancies. Law enforcers and religious leaders should help end child marriages in marginalised coastal counties,” said UNFPA officer Kigen Korir who is in charge of adolescent and reproductive health.

He stated that the pregnancies were becoming a burden to the country adding that it leads to high cases of abortion while affecting the education of the victims.

“Most of the girls dropped out of school. It compromises education attainment and ability to secure decent economic opportunities.

“Morbidity and mortality pregnancy-related complications and abortion, early and child marriages should end,” Mr Korir said.

He said that the latest report on teenage pregnancies needs a collaborative approach to deal with it while at the same time urging the government to enhance health education in the new curriculum.

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