Plan International Eastern regional manager Richard Kalyata has said that statistics for teen pregnancies in the Eastern Province are still very alarming with Chadiza recording 1,020 from January to October 2019.
Speaking at the event to mark the girl child which fell yesterday, Kalyata said Plan International would continue cooperating with the government in the fight against early marriages and teen pregnancies to ensure the girl child excel in life.
“When you look at the statistics of teenage pregnancies, which are coming out, the other time I remember we had statistics for Chipata, they were quite alarming. Currently, we have statistics for Chadiza district. In 2015 we had 468 girls who fell pregnant, in 2016 we had 336, in 2017 we had 336 then in 2018 the number grew to 1,601. You can imagine from 336 to 1,601. This year from January to October we have already recorded 1,020 teen pregnancies and these statistics are coming from Ministry of Health,” he said.
Kalyata said the figures were coming from the communities and not schools.
“It’s like there is a lot of awareness to the school going girls but we have neglected those girls who are not in school, meaning that there is a gap which has been created and needs to be addressed by us stakeholders so that those girls in the community are also able to get the message on issues of sexuality and be able to change the way they look at things,” he said.
Kalyata said the international day was being commemorated under the theme ‘empowering a girl for a brighter tomorrow’.
“When a girl is educated, her future is brighter, no wonder they say when you educate a girl you educate the nation. We are happy that Mitchell has taken over the office of the mayor today and this is going to inspire her. If she will continue working hard. one day she is going to become a mayor. As Plan International, we are working with government, traditional leaders and other stakeholders to ensure we empower the girl children,” he said.