Gender Gender

Genesis of teen pregnancy can help resolve problem

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Children’s Corner with PANIC CHILUFYA
GOOD morning Mrs Chilufya,
I enjoyed your article on the rising cases of teenage pregnancies even though obviously it makes very sad reading.
I have been compelled to make a comment. My dear lady, I feel this issue is one that can be solved by attempting to look at the genesis of the problem.
I would like to draw you to the old days, for example 1990 going backwards. I am sure you will agree that there were cases of teenage pregnancies but in very isolated incidents. We need to understand and agree that even in those days, same as today, young people did have sexual urges. However, they knew that if they indulged, the consequences were very dire especially for the girl child. This served as a powerful deterrent for most girls. They knew that falling pregnant would be the end of the road for them as far as their social standing in society and education were concerned.
We need to acknowledge that young girls today are forming consensual relationships with boys and males in general. It is not always a case of coercion. They feel that their options are quite numerous. Society has told them that they can easily go back to school if they fall pregnant, and due to their young impressionable minds, they think they will get married and live happily ever after like a fairy tale.
This is very far from the truth as reality of life will set in. There is no way that a young girl who falls pregnant can be expected to have the exact same advantages as one who has focused on her studies. Never! We need to acknowledge the fact that the girl child is in a very strong position to prevent these pregnancies herself. However, her being a child requires that she is given a strong deterrent to avoid indulging in teenage sex.
If she stands her ground and focuses on her education, there is only so much that the males will be able to do unlike what the situation is today where young people seem to think that there are no permanent consequences for their actions.
Good day to you.
Victor Deltoids.
Dear Mrs Chilufya,
In reference to your article on teenage pregnancies, I totally dispute the statistics and I suspect there was a breakdown in the data collection process.
Kindly ask the Ministry of Health to conduct another research. For example, you mentioned that in Lundazi there are 52 health posts and yet there are less than 10. In Chipata, 5,000 young girls were pregnant in three months. Where did they come from? Could it be that most of them came from neighbouring countries looking for better facilities in Chipata?
I believe that much more work needs to be done on this matter and the earlier the better.
Thanking you
Frank Ng’uni, Lusaka.
Dear Mr Ng’uni,
Recently Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo disclosed that the province recorded 24,731 teenage pregnancies in 2018. Chipata led the list with over 5,000 cases, followed by Lundazi with 4,898. Petauke had 3,792, Katete 2,675, Nyimba 1,481, Chadiza 1,419, Mambwe 1,198, while Vubwi recorded the lowest number of 560 cases. He attributed rising numbers to peer pressure, certain traditions and poverty levels, among others. The pregnancies occurred in young girls aged between 12 to 20 years.
Remember, children are our future. Until next week, take care.
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