A disturbing statistic has been revealed in Kilifi involving teenage girls in the county.
As public debate rages on over the high rate of teenage pregnancies, it has now emerged that in Kilifi County alone, over 13,000 pregnancies were recorded among girls aged between 10-19 in the last one year.
In a statement issued on Monday, Kilifi Children Affairs Coordinator George Migosi said over the last one year, the County Health department recorded 13,624 pregnancies among teenage girls aged between 15-19.
He added that an additional 290 cases were reported among girls aged between 10-14.
“Among children aged between 10-14 we recorded 290 pregnancies, and these are the ones that were recorded at health centres. Among girls between 15-19 we had 13,624 cases,” said Migosi. “This is very alarming since we are talking about close to 14,000 cases over a period of one year.”
The county coordinator blamed parents for the early pregnancies, noting that among the over 13,000 cases, 5,000 of them were as a result of child negligence.
He issued a warning to parents who don’t report cases of early pregnancies, saying they risk being arrested and prosecuted.
According to the report, Kilifi North sub-county is leading with 3,134 pregnancies followed by Magarini (2,861) and Kaloleni ( 2,180). Others are Kilifi South and Malindi with 1,771 cases each and Ganze and Rabai with 1,362 and 545 respectively.
Last week, Education CS Amina Mohammed has ordered investigations into the high cases of teenage pregnancies witnessed across the country during the 3-day KCPE examination period.
Speaking on Thursday, Amina said she had directed the Quality Assurance and Standard department to carry out investigations into the cases and table a report for immediate action by the ministry.
“I have asked my quality assurance and standard department to work with relevant departments to investigate the extent of this situation and give me a report for further action,” she said while addressing the press at Lang’ata Women’s Prison where seven candidates had registered for KCPE.
The CS revealed that preliminary reports indicate that the country could be staring at a crisis, if the issue of teenage pregnancies is not amicably addressed.