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Alarm over rise in teen pregnancy in veve county

NEWS

Despite a spirited fight against teenage pregnancies in Meru, the vice continues to rise.

The latest Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS) paints a worrying picture of a county that is reeling under a high prevalence of teenage pregnancies, despite efforts by NGOs, Njuri Ncheke, and other stakeholders.

Community elders are scratching their heads over the causative factors, seeing as poverty, one of the contributory factors in many counties, is not widespread in Meru.

Charles M'Itonga, an elder, blamed poor parenting for the high number of teenagers who are getting pregnant and being forced to either pause their education or drop out altogether.

"Poverty is not one of the major factors bringing about this problem. No one can convince me that our school girls are getting pregnant because of poverty," M'Itonga said.

He said each region of Meru is endowed with rich soils for various crops to sustain livelihoods.

"The Imenti have tea and coffee which bring income while the Igembe area has miraa with sufficient income. The Tigania have macadamia, and livestock, even though the climate there is not that good. So the problem is not poverty alone, it is poor parenting," he said.

Maendeleo ya Wanawake (Meru chapter) Chairperson Mary Kanana partly attributed the problem to parental negligence, social media influence, early marriages as well as poverty.

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