Over 6,000 teenage girls got pregnant in Nyandarua county in the last three years, authorities confirmed on Tuesday, February 21, 2023.
Some of the girls affected are as young as 14 years, a stakeholders’ one-day meeting was told yesterday.
Nyandarua Central Deputy County Commissioner, Peter Kimani, representing County Commissioner Amos Mariba, said there is a need for stakeholders to pool efforts to curb the problem.
The meeting was organized by Forum for African Women Educationists (FAWE) Kenya Chapter to launch its activities in the county.
According to FAWE Nyandarua Coordinator, Anthony Mwakwasha, the activities will include interventions such as peer clubs in schools to create awareness to stem teenage pregnancies and child marriages.
The County Director of Quality Assurance Standards, Samuel Ngugi, called for well-thought interventions that will not propagate stigma against the girls who are victims of child pregnancies.
Breakdown of teen pregnancies
Nyandarua HIV Coordinator Stephen Mwangi said an average of 25 girls aged between 10-14 years get pregnant each year in the county.
“In the year 2020, 25 girls in that aged category got pregnant, the figure rose to 27 in the following year and last year it stood at 30 girls,” Mwangi said.
But the trend of teenage pregnancy is worrying in the 15-19 year age group, where 2,281 girls got pregnant in 2020 in Nyandarua county. In 2021, the figure rose to 2,470 girls and last year the figure dropped to 2,033 girls, Mwangi said.
The Coordinator said the pregnancies showed lack of use of condoms by sexually active groups in the County thus exposing themselves to risks of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
The one-day stakeholders’ meeting held in a hotel in Ol Kalou was told that of the 2,033 teenage pregnancies recorded in Nyandarua last year, Kinangop had 764, Kipipiri 287, Ndaragwa 273, Ol Kalou 429 and Ol Joroorok 280 pregnancies.
“These figures are only for those girls who visited health facilities in the County. The figure might be higher considering there are those who did not visit hospitals and so their data is not captured,” said Samuel Maina, who works in the County’s health department.
“Last year, a 13-year-old girl delivered, that is a child giving birth to another child. So when midwives are giving instructions on how to breastfeed the newborn, they don’t direct it to the girl but to the delivered child’s grandmother,” Maina said.