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Kenya

Gender commission roots for civic education to eradicate teenage pregnancies

Women helping a KCPE candidate who gave birth on her way to school in Kitui County.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 3 – The National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) wants county governments to educate communities about existing laws and policies to prevent increased child pregnancies.

In a report submitted to the Education Ministry, chairperson Joyce Mutinda said that focus should especially be on reducing the vulnerability of children with disabilities.

She pointed out that such individuals are susceptible to the impact of their condition as well as child pregnancies.

“County governments should undertake advocacy and awareness programs to sensitize the community about this important issue,” she stated.

She stated that they should also ensure there are proper infrastructure in place to facilitate GBV prevention and response.

She also explained that counties should “strengthen the drug abuse prevention and support programs developed by the National Authority Against Drug Abuse (NACADA) and scale up drug abuse and [prevention [programs in schools.”

Her sentiments come even as the government put on notice men impregnating teenagers, after more than ten candidates gave birth during their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations that ended on Thursday.

While some of the candidates were reported to have taken the exams while pregnant, others gave birth in school or on their way.

One such case was reported in Kitui County on Thursday morning, when a girl aged 18 gave birth to a baby boy while walking to Makongo Primary School.

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Similar cases were reported in Nyeri, Mombasa, Nakuru and Nyanza region since Tuesday when the examinations started.

In all the cases, the candidates were allowed to proceed with their examinations either in class, or in hospitals where papers were delivered under tight security.

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