Pregnant teens to get State-funded maternal care
President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed registration of all pregnant school girls to ensure they access free pre and post-natal care.
The order, which is contained in a presidential directive issued recently, further stipulated that chiefs and their assitants reveal the identities of those behind the pregnancies.
Additionally, Public Service and Gender Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia said teenage girls who have been impregnated should go back to school to pursue their dreams.
Kobia said the government has a policy in place that allows schoolgirls who get pregnant to resume studies once the baby is born.
“However, our aim is to prevent teenage pregnancies because we know that out of those underage girls who get pregnant, less than 20 per cent go back to school because getting somebody to take care of their child is a challenge.
There is also stigma associated with going back to school and mostly these girls come from poor backgrounds,” said the CS.
Speaking at the National Youth Service (NYS) headquarters while handing over Covid-19 donations to Women Parliamentary Caucus, the CS explained that the more years a girl spends in school and attains the highest qualification, the better the chances of her quality of life.
“We have heard that most of the pregnancies are by people known to them, with some being close family members.
As a ministry, we want to make sure we prevent these teenage pregnancies and there are many interventions to prevent them including counselling from the parents and avoiding incidences where girls will be exposed to the dangers of being sexually abused,” said Prof Kobia.
She said that impregnating an underage girl is defilement and called for maximum punishment for those found culpable.
The CS said that Covid-19 has affected men and women differently and they are looking at ways of offering tailor-made solutions for everyone so that they can make a difference. – KNA