A new report by an Amref Youth-led group now shows that 13,000 girls drop out of school annually due to early pregnancies.
The group leader, Rasheed Mutaha said it is time the policymakers listened to the voices of young people, especially girls, and protect them from challenges that hinder their academic development.
Findings released by the group on Friday show that over 900 girls are impregnanted daily in Kenya, a shocking revelation that follows a recent report that revealed that over 3,000 school girls are pregnant since March when schools were closed due to covid-19.
“Collective action is more imperative now more than ever. We are calling on leaders to listen to the voices of young people, to invest in young people and involve them meaningfully in all decision making that affects their lives. We commit to rally with all our partners until we see teenage pregnancies is eradicated,” Mutaha said.
The group known as ‘Sauti Sasa’ which works under Amref Health Africa said it has been holding campaigns since December 2019, advocating for the protection of young people for them to achieve their dreams without disruptions.
Wanjiku Mwangi, a member of the group working with people living in informal settlements, said the issue of teen pregnancies is prevalent in those areas as most of the young boys and girls are idle following the closure of schools.
“It is more scary now that children are not going to school. The situation is dire in the informal settlements where young girls cannot even afford sanitary towels because even their parents are focusing on feeding them. This makes them seek help from men and in return, they offer their bodies and we all know the outcome,” Mwangi said.
The team further said that based on their statistics about 948 girls fall pregnant every day.
The Ministry of Education has said schools in Kenya will remain closed until 2021 for fear of the spread of COVID-19 whose infections are approaching the 10,000 mark.
A leaked government report last month showed that 152, 820 teens countrywide have been impregnated since schools were closed in March.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha disputed the report and said he had launched an investigation on its authenticity.
Kenya’s Demographic Health Survey 2019 shows that 400,000 teenagers get pregnant every year.