Jane Seymour Fonda, a conspicuous American essayist once said “If adolescent pregnancy prevention is to become a priority, then our strategy, as advocates, must contain two key elements: civic engagement and education’ I trust that as your eyes experience this proclamation, somewhat comes into your psyche about this creature called teenage pregnancy , that has pulverized the lives of people in our very own dazzling Zimbabwe. Someone may contend and state how?
By Witness Dhlamini
As an introduction, let me set out the insights of teenage pregnancy which by one way or another interrelate with early child marriages in the nation. I believe, this animal called high teenage pregnancy has extensive outcomes that have the propensity to upset vision 2030 of the Second Republic of being the Middle-income economy by 2030.As a foundation, this is the status of our besieged Zimbabwe as far as teenage pregnancies as indicated by the Zimbabwe Demographic Health Survey of 2015.
The ZDHS demonstrates to us that , 22 percent of ladies age 15-19 have started childbearing Teenage childbearing has declined marginally in the course of the most recent 5 years from 19 percent in 2010-11 to 17 percent in 2015.The ZDHS report goes further to express that young people in rustic territories are just about multiple times as likely their urban friends to start childbearing with 27 percent of country youngsters having started childbearing, contrasted and 10 percent of urban adolescents.
From the above statistics, a great deal of inquiries may go to a peruser, for example, what are the main drivers of these teenage pregnancies, what causes the inconsistencies in urban and rural territories in connection to teenage pregnancies, what are the results of these teenage pregnancies at an individual dimension and its sweeping outcomes that can agitate vision 2030.
I agree with Tatenda Songore, the executive director of youth advocates Zimbabwe, who in the article “Teenage pregnancy still rampant in Zimbabwe” contended that teenage pregnancies are brought about by absence of an exhaustive sexual reproduction policy for young people, with even schools poorly outfitted to manage such issues in class.
On another dimension I feel the parents are to blame for this issue especially in rural areas where teenage pregnancies are just but a norm. The parents, not to mention the traditional leadership that has allowed cultural decay in the communities allowing old men to take school children for wives. This is more common in the rural areas, for example the rural areas of Nkayi District in Matabeleland North where teenage pregnancies are at an alarming rate. The kids have become a source of income in the rural areas, with parents citing lack of money to pay the fees as the major cause of letting their kids drop out from school and go for marriage with the parents benefitting from the little paid lobola at the expense of the children’s life.
On another thought I feel the guardians are to be faulted for this issue particularly in rustic regions where teenage pregnancies are simply however a standard. The guardians, also the traditional leaders, by this I mean the headmen and the village heads that has permitted social rot enabling elderly men to take teenagers for spouses. This is progressively basic in the rustic territories, for instance the provincial regions of Nkayi District in Matabeleland North where adolescent pregnancies are at a disturbing rate. The children have turned into a wellspring of salary in the rustic territories, with guardians referring to absence of cash to pay the school fees as the real reason for giving their children a chance to drop out from school and run for marriage with the guardians profiting by the little paid lobola to the detriment of the youngsters’ life.
The inconsistences in urban and rural areas poses some questions to the people of Zimbabwe.
The lack of sexual reproductive health education in rural areas may be the real reason of high teenage pregnancies in rural areas as compared to their urban counter parts.
The absence of sexual reproductive health education in rustic regions might be the genuine reason of high adolescent pregnancies in country rural areas when contrasted with their urban partners. The parents in rural areas are to blame as they don’t discuss sexual reproductive health issues with their children hence their children can’t report back to their parents even if they are being sexually harassed. A decent parent-teenage relationship is more beneficial to the girl child adolescents as they can unreservedly open and talk about their issues with the guardians
What are the consequences of this teenage pregnancies? Does it matter? Is it of concern, one may wonder? I believe teenage pregnancies has far reaching consequences that can halt vision 2030 of the Second Republic. To take a snapshot of Nkayi District, about 133 teenagers dropped out from school in 2017 either due to pregnancy or child marriages. One may argue and say this is insignificant.
Let me challenge the peruser. Let’s say these 133 students were to pass their ordinary level and proceed to advanced and tertiary education and be enrolled in medicine and surgery and or Criminal law degree programmes. These students could be medical doctors and criminal lawyers. However, due to carelessness of either the teachers, the parents or the students themselves, the happenings have been otherwise, with the potential professionals now being mothers. Let’s take note the data is for one District, not even the largest District in the country. Indeed, teenage pregnancies can upset vision 2030.
What are the outcomes of this teenage pregnancies? Does it make a difference? Is it of concern, one may ponder? I believe teenage pregnancies has sweeping outcomes that can upset vision 2030 of the Second Republic. To take a depiction of Nkayi District, around 133 young people dropped out from school in 2017 either because of pregnancy or child marriages. One may contend and state this is immaterial. Let me challenge the peruser. Suppose these 133 teenagers were to pass their ordinary and continue to advance level and tertiary education and be enrolled in Medicine and or Criminal law degree programs. These students could be medical specialists and criminal attorneys. In any case, because of remissness of either the instructors, the guardians or the students themselves, the happenings have been something else, with the potential experts currently being moms. We should observe the information is for one District, not in any case the biggest District in the nation. Surely, high school pregnancies can distract vision 2030.
An abundance of thanks goes to the endeavours of some government and Non-legislative associations that have placed endeavours in diminishing teenage pregnancies. Organisations, for example, National Aids Council, through its different projects, for example, Sista2Sista that that has reached thousands of teenagers in rural communities, educating them on sexual reproductive health with special focus on HIV/AIDS and teenage pregnancies. World vision and other NGOs have also come into play to help reduce teenage pregnancies in the rural areas, by reaching thousands of teenage pregnancies in rural schools.
We can presume that adolescent pregnancies have extensive results that can truly agitated vision 2030. All things considered these calls for multi partner approach, Government and non-government in dealing with the destructive teenage pregnancies and child marriages.
Without a doubt, teenage pregnancies can agitate Vison 2030
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