Kenya has reported a sudden surge in teen pregnancies in one single county over a period of five months thus threatening to cut short the pursuit for education among school-going girls.
Machakos county, located in the north eastern province in Kenya is leading several other counties in terms of teenage pregnancies in Kenya according to Kenya Health Information System survey.
The data shows that a total of 3,964 girls aged 19 years and below were reported pregnant within that period.
Machakos County Children Officer Salome Muthama said the reported pregnancy cases among school girls are much less than the actual numbers.
“During this coronavirus pandemic, we do have 4000 impregnated girls. These are so many innocent girls,” she said.
She further reiterated that most of the cases were as a result of defilement by close family members
She adds that about 200 of these girls are aged 14 years and below.
“How can a 12-year-old girl become a mother?” she posed.
“All the people who have impregnated these children needs to be arraigned but it is becoming a challenge. We need special court sittings to address and deal with these cases,” Salome appealed.
She further blamed both the parents and the ineffective justice system for the prevailing crisis.
“Most of these cases you will find involve children who were taken from urban centres in the wake of COVID-19 and left in the hands of their grandmothers in the countryside as the parents returned to the towns,” Ms Muthama told reporters in Machakos Town.