Teenage pregnancy in the spotlight

2018-01-23 06:00
PHOTO: sourcedKZN Health Minister Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo says ‘no’ to teenage pregnancy.

PHOTO: sourcedKZN Health Minister Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo says ‘no’ to teenage pregnancy.

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THE KZN Department of Health has raised concerns after two 14-year-old girls gave birth this month. This has made the department remind girls about dangers of blesser or sugar daddies, unprotected sex and teenage pregnancies.

KZN Health Minister Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo said in a statement that 14 year olds should not be falling pregnant.

He said the department will continue waging war against sugar daddies or blessers, while also spearheading programmes such as “She Conquers”, which helps adolescent girls and women take charge of their future through education and health literacy.

The statement said: “It has emerged that two 14-year-old mothers have given birth, a report that shocked and concerned the department. Also among the province’s youngest mothers are two 15 year olds, one 16 year old and three 17 year olds.

“We wish to emphasise that there is no bonus for a teenager to fall pregnant. When someone who is aged under 18 falls pregnant, it poses a risk to the life of both the mother and her child.

“Most teenagers who fall pregnant don’t go back to school. Instead they give birth to more babies. Ultimately, they lose out in life. Young people who fall pregnant early are also not giving a bright future for the children they give birth to. They perpetuate a cycle of poverty. It should not be happening.”

The Fever asked people to give their thoughts about teenage pregnancy.

Zola Madlala from KwaNyuswa said: “This is a shock and disgrace. How can a 14-year-old be a mother because she still needs care from her parents. A 14 year old is a child and should be in school instead of taking care of a baby.”

Makhosi Dlungwane from KwaNyuswa said: “I think the government should hire people to deal with these matters. They should do research and meet the family. There might be a solid explanation for this. They might discover that the girl was raped. These things happen and family members turn a blind eye to it.”

Nomfundo Gwala from Clermont said: “This is shocking. These girls are now mothers at a very young age and they will lose out on school and their youth. Children should bear in mind that there are things like sexually transmitted diseases. But then again some of these girls want to experiment at a young age. I feel sorry for them.”

Dhlomo said the national She Conquers campaign, launched by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa two years ago, will be accelerated in the province.

“We are saying to young women, the men who sleep with you do not do so out of love, but out of lust. Our message is, you don’t need someone who will come into your life and yield negative results. We will not stop these campaigns.

“We will continue engaging with young people.”

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