45,724 teenage pregnancies recorded in January, February

2,196 cases of SGBV were registered among those aged 12 and 17 years

45,724 teenage pregnancies recorded in January, February

A total of 45,724 teenage pregnancies were recorded between January and February 2022, Ministry of Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache has announced.

The figure was conveyed during the National Dialogue with Regional and County Commissioners against HIV, teen pregnancies and Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), graced by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i on Thursday, April 7.

PS Mochache described HIV, teen pregnancies and SGBV as a triple threat to the livelihood and economy of Kenyans.

"HIV and AIDS afflict the youth who make up a huge percentage of Kenya’s population. We have made gains in addressing teenage pregnancies. Counties such as Taita, Kilifi & Siaya have reduced teenage pregnancies by 50%," stated Mochache.

Dr Matiangi said that the threat of gender-based violence was a big security issue. "It is a slow killer affecting human resources & the country is bleeding. We are losing young girls to teenage pregnancies. Kenya will lose out in the long run if nothing is done."

Mochache also revealed that 2,196 cases of SGBV were registered among those aged 12 and 17 years. Mochache further said every week 98 girls aged between 10 and 19 years are infected with HIV due to SGBV.

"In this fight, it is all of us versus the enemy. The enemy is the Triple Threat. We will develop tools and training including manuals that tell chiefs and sub-chiefs what to do," Dr Matiang'i stated.

The PS however noted there had been a drop of HIV infections from 343 recorded among adolescent girls in 2015 to 98 per week representing a 71 percent decrease in HIV infections.

Matiang'i advised County Commissioners and Chiefs should collaborate with community and religious leaders to enforce laws legislating the age of marriage at above 18 years amongst all communities because those children cannot give consent for sex.

"Lives cannot be exchanged for animals. Kangaroo courts where kids have been raped or infected are paid for a fine by perpetrators will not be tolerated. Chiefs will be fired for this. This type of thing will not be tolerated," reiterated Matiang'i.

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