Ida backs sex education to curb teen pregnancy

Ida Odinga speaks during a past event. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Azimio leader Raila Odinga's wife Ida has decried the high drop out rate among girls.

She said early pregnancies and Gender-Based violence were pushing girls out of school.

Speaking in Gem during a session with Community Health Volunteers (CHVs), Ida appealed to the volunteers to start offering sex education to school girls during their visits to households.

Ida said sex education will reduce the cases of early pregnancies in the county.

"One of the roles I want our CHVs to play at the village level is offering sex education to reduce cases of early pregnancies. I want our girls to stay in school. It is unfortunate that most of the girls getting pregnant are supposed to sit the national exams," she said.

Statistics from Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) for 2022 indicates that Siaya recorded an increase in teenage pregnancies from 17.2 per cent to 21 per cent. The scope features girls between 15 and 19 years, old with the statistics listing Siaya ninth nationally in high rates of teenage pregnancy.

According to Ida, several factors contribute to the high cases of teenage pregnancies in Siaya. She blamed rogue boda boda riders who take advantage of young school going girls by giving them money in exchange of sex.

"While in their business of ferrying people to different places, some of them have been accused of taking advantage of these young girls. This must stop and they must be called out and warned," she said.

"Our young girls must be educated. When we educate our children we have intentions to make them better people in future. You can imagine, how a parent feels knowing that their child is pregnant and cannot go back to school until the baby arrives. Boda boda riders must know that the Sh200 they give our girls in exchange for their bodies cannot sort out their problems," she added.

She told the CHVs that at the community level they should act like police to streamline these issues. "Report these issues to the relevant authorities."