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Shocking number of girls aged 10 to 14 giving birth in Tshwane

24 January 2022 - 13:46
The City of Tshwane is concerned by the high teenage pregnancy rate, which has many socioeconomic consequences. Stock photo.
The City of Tshwane is concerned by the high teenage pregnancy rate, which has many socioeconomic consequences. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/sam74100

The City of Tshwane has raised the alarm about the high rate of teenage pregnancies after its public health facilities recorded nearly 10,000 deliveries to young moms in two years.

“This figure represents a concerning high incidence of teenage pregnancies in the metro,” said MMC for health Rina Marx.

According to Marx, between July 2019 and June 2021 there were 9,922 births by teenagers.

Of these, 674 girls were between the ages of 10 and 14.

A further 9,248 girls between the ages of 15 and 19 gave birth.

The high incidence of teenage pregnancies had many socioeconomic consequences, including health risks, educational limitations and financial stress, Marx said.

“The City of Tshwane would like to encourage young people to abstain from risky behaviour that may lead to early or unwanted pregnancies.

“Often babies are abandoned or given up for adoption, which places an additional burden on the child welfare system.

“Early teenage sexual activity also increases the risk of contracting and spreading sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV,” Marx said.

The city urged teenagers and their parents to visit its municipal clinics for relevant information on teenage pregnancy, choices on possible termination of pregnancy and available contraceptives.

“The facilities provide health promotion leaflets in different languages, free contraceptives and ‘happy hour’ sessions between 2pm and 3pm daily, where teenagers get preference to receive related health services and advice,” Marx said.

“Now is the time for all of us — including parents, teachers, church leaders and the community at large — to act decisively to help our future leaders to make informed and responsible decisions.”

TimesLIVE


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