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Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha/FILE

Kenya

Govt to probe ‘obnoxious’ report alluding to 152,820 teen pregnancies

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 18 –The Government has launched a probe into a recently released study which reported an alarming number of teen pregnancies being cited in the country since schools were closed down in March this year over Coronavirus fears, saying the figures being presented might be exaggerated.

Speaking while touring schools in Nakuru County, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said the Ministry is aware of cases of teen pregnancies but dismissed the recently released figures as a ploy by selfish individuals who have a hidden agenda.

“I would like to interrogate the rate of the pregnancies because they look obnoxious. I am asking myself as a professor, did these girls go and report that they are pregnant? Who is giving us these figures because they seem to be definitive? Could some NGOs who are keen on pushing sex education be using these exaggerated number,” said the Education CS.

Prof Magoha called for tougher action against individuals who sexually assault girls even as he urged parents to pay more attention in morally guiding their children.

Acting Director of Health Dr Patrick Amoth equally said figures might be over-fetched and added that the Ministry’s Reproductive Health Division is currently studying the data before they can issue a formal response.

“On average mothers who come in for ante-natal services in our healthcare facilities come in the third trimester – the last 12-13 weeks of the pregnancy – so if you go back to March and now we are in the second week of June; we are basically talking of the early second trimester, so it is highly unlike that if these girls fell pregnant they have already gone to the facilities for someone to verify that they are indeed pregnant,” he stated.

“Remember also in the Demographic Health Survey 2019, 400,000 teenagers get pregnant every year, so one county reporting 4,000 could not be far-fetched,” Dr Amoth added.

The recent report which has raised alarm in the country shows that about 152, 820 teens nationwide have been impregnated since schools were closed down about three months ago.

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