High teen pregnancies worry leaders

Women leaders from the county have expressed concern at the high rate of teenage pregnancy.

The county recorded 12,503 teenage pregnancies between July 2017 and June 2018.

This has attracted the attention of the women leaders, who have resolved to use every available public forum to lobby parents and county administrators to reverse the trend.

Speaking during an early childhood development workshop in Siaya town, Governor Cornel Rasanga’s wife Rosela Rasanga described the trend as "unacceptable".

"These high statistics on teenage pregnancies must be addressed and steps taken to help the affected girls," said Mrs Rasanga.

In December 2018, the county government set up a toll-free line for adolescents on sexual and reproductive health issues and problems. The project was jointly funded by the county and the World Bank.

The county reproductive, maternal, newborn and adolescent health coordinator, Elizabeth Omondi, appealed to adolescents to take advantage of the line to seek help on sexuality matters.

“We are not limiting it to sexual and reproductive health issues, if they have other issues they are free to call," said Dr Omondi.

She appealed to the county commissioner’s office to help reverse the growing statistics.

Identify perpetrators

"We want the help of police, chiefs and their assistants to identify the perpetrators of teenage pregnancies,” she said.  

In another workshop on Gender violence on Wednesday, Siaya Woman Representative Christine Ombaka said teenage pregnancies were ruining the future of many girls in the county.

"Talk to your children about sexual violence. Early pregnancies and early marriages must be stopped," she said.

Similar sentiments were voiced by the county executive member for tourism, Elizabeth Odhiambo, and her Education colleague, Mary Omondi.

“We must talk to our daughters. Times have changed and the world is growing more hostile towards them,” said Ms Odhiambo.

“We cannot have our young girls carry pregnancies in their parents’ homes,” said Dr Omondi.

Some 12,988 cases of teenage pregnancy were recorded between July 2016 and June 2017 and 12,503 cases between July 2017 and June 2018.

In 2016/2017, West Sakwa ward in Bondo sub-county recorded the highest number of teenage pregnancies, with 848 girls.

Between July 2017 and June 2018, South East Alego ward in Alego Usonga recorded the highest number of teenage pregnancies, at 738 girls.

Women leadersTeenage PregnancyGovernor Cornel RasangaRosela RasangaElizabeth OmondiChristine OmbakaSiaya County