367 underage girls raped by relatives in Kilifi this year, hospital report

A new report by the Kilifi County Referral Hospital shows that 367 underage girls from the area were reported or have delivered at the institution in the past nine months after either being defiled or engaging in incestuous early sex.

Statistics from the gender based violence [GBV] desk at the hospital further shows that 207 of the girls delivered at the hospitals while 160 were, mainly pupils, whose rape or defilement was reported and treated at the hospital. The 207 only delivered at the hospital even though they did not report their defilement or seek post rape treatment there.

The report was unveiled yesterday at function to mark the international day of the African Child at Vitengeni trading center in Kilifi county by Mr Raymond Katana a medical social worker and counselor in charge of the GVB desk who disclosed that most of the girls were assaulted by close family members. And Katana said 367 is just a fraction of a bigger phenomenon involving reported cases since most families choose  to settle sexual defilement of girls at home.

"At the Kilifi County Referral Hospital GBV desk,we have managed to record 160 cases of defiled school girls while 207 of the underage girls were admitted at the hospital maternity wing for delivery after getting pregnant this year,"said Katana.
And while addressing participants during the international African girl child at Bofa beach resort on Sunday the executive committee member for education in Kilifi county Ms Salma Ahmed associated thehigh case of defilement to failure by some parents to speak and guide their girl children on sexual matters.
Speaking during the function that brought together teachers and school going girl children and officials of of none governmental organization coordinated by Aga Khan University Institute for educational development East Africa[SESEA] ms Ahmed challenged officers of ministry of children and social services and the police to ensure the perpetrators of the deferments are prosecuted.
She said the county government is working closely with other stakeholders in the education sector to organize for outreach programs to the area schools and talk with the girls on sexual matters to safeguard them from getting engaged into early sex.'The statics of the young girls being reported after being defiled are worrying and as stake holders we need to join hands and conduct  outreach programs to meet our young girls and educate them on the
importance of keeping away from early sexual relationships' said Ahmed.
The project coordinator of young adolescent, a German organization concerned in fighting and safeguarding the young girls from all sorts of harassments including defilements Ms Halima Ali said poverty facing many families had made young girls to engage into early sex.
Project manager of Aga Khan university Institute for educational development east Africa Mr Ronald Kimambo said the university was working with 150 schools in Kilifi, Mombasa and kwale counties where the children were getting supporting on their learning programs
Speaking at Vitengeni during the international day of the African child Halima said adolescent stage among the girls was a very sensitive issue that girls need close parental care and guidance. Halima said most girls who get their first periods mostly drop out of schools for shame as they lacked the necessary sanitary towels to keep
them clean.
She said her organization is working in some schools in Killifi had been managed to retain some girls in school by proving them with sanitary towels. The coordinator said the organization has also been conducting counseling sessions to the school girls with the support of their teachers.
'As an organization we are working in some schools in Kilifi county why apart from doing counseling services to the young girls and boys on sexual issues we have been offering sanitary towels to the girls to keep them in schools' said Halima.
She said cases of close family members most the men to defile their girls are rife in the county and challenged the officers in the department of children to follow up the aces and prosecute the perpetrators.
'Failure by the relevant authorities to follow the perpetrators of defilements who mostly are close family and prosecute them has opened wide windows for other people to join the trend' said Halima