Early Pregnancy and Gender Based Violence, Big Challenge to Teenagers
By PETER KOMBE
Mombasa county health department has decried an upsurge in teenage pregnancy and gender based violence (GBV) in the past six months.
Speaking on phone, Mombasa county health department Deputy Monitoring and Evaluation officer Pauline Adhiambo said cases of teenage pregnancy have risen to 10.2 percent in March this year, from 5.2 per cent the previous month and a total of 5.3 per cent recorded in January this year.
According to Odhiambo in 2019, the county recorded a total of 12 percent in January, 13.1 percent in February, with a drop of 7.9 percent in March.
“Things started to take a new shape after 2017 when the county started recording high numbers of teenage cases,” she noted.
The health official further insisted that sexual reproductive health rights resources have been diverted to combat COVID 19 which she admits has hampered SRHR services and information to adolescents and young people.
Adhiambo further revealed that the county has reported a rise in cases of domestic violence since the confirmation of the first COVID case in the country.
She pointed that the pandemic has adversely affected service delivery to adolescents and young people.
“It is true that COVID-19 is here with us. We therefore need to join hands as the church, community and stakeholders so that we can stop its spread,” the official noted.
At the same time, Enos Opiyo who is the Dream Achievers Youth Organization programs coordinator Mombasa says there is need for the county government to sensitize locals on the importance of human sexuality education in a bid to curb both teenage pregnancies and GBV.
He says the organization has partnered with other likeminded organizations in a bid to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Enos noted “We do partner with other stakeholders and do almost everything through our online platforms,”
Meanwhile, Dream Achievers Youth Organization executive director Seif Jira said most of the communication is done through their online platforms such as Skype and Facebook page.
He wants county residents to adhere to all government directives of frequent washing hands of hands with sanitizers and maintaining the social distancing rule.
Jira says as a measure to combat the spread of corona virus the officials have resorted to working at the comfort of their homes.
“This pandemic has not only affected us but also businesses and companies. We told our youths (over 40 of them) to work from their homes so we can contain the disease in case one is affected.
This Wednesday the government confirmed a total of 7 more cases of corona victims bringing the total number of confirmed cases of the virus to 303.