At least 850 teenage girls out of 17,000 who got pregnant in Kilifi County last year have tested positive for HIV/Aids, County Executive member for health, Dr Anisa Omar has revealed.
Anisa attributed the infections to unprotected sex, which also exposes the girls to other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
Speaking during the ongoing County advocacy campaign against teenage pregnancies at Juhudi Primary School in Jaribuni area of Ganze Sub-County, Anisa said most of the men who lured the girls into sexual affairs do not use protection such as condom.
“The statistics have shown that about five per cent of last year’s 17,000 teenage mothers are HIV positive besides developing other health complications during childbirth,’’ she said.
She said the infections are a clear proof that teenage pregnancies were exposing children to irreversible health conditions.
‘‘These girls are engaging in sex without using protection, so this put them at high risk of contracting Sexually Transmitted Diseases such as HIV/Aids,’’ she said.
The health CEC said health department has receives the lion’s share of 2019-2020 budget but with the rise in teenage pregnancies, the budget is strained.
She said Kilifi has 150 dispensaries and three hospitals in Malindi, Kilifi and Mariakani which all need drugs; medical personnel and other staff such s lab technicians, ambulances, drivers among others.
‘‘The big budget is allocated to me but if we continue getting these teenage mothers, it means the budget must go up because the girls must deliver in hospitals, children too must get vaccination and the number of medical personnel will increase,’’ she said.
‘‘The effects of teenage pregnancy are serious. I would parents and leaders to join hands and speak in one voice so that we fight against this menace,’’ she added.
She asked parent to ensure the dream of getting education for their children is not stopped by the pregnancies by ensuring those who deliver are taken back to school to continue with classes.
‘‘Remember it’s not the end of the world, education is the foundation to a bright future, let take our girls back to school to ensure they complete education even after giving birth,’’ she said.