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In the recent past decades, the number of teen pregnancy has reduced drastically in the United States of America due to the measure put in place by the American Academy of Paediatrics (APP) to prevent teen pregnancy. However, it is still a serious issue in other countries such as Kenya that still needs to be discussed since it comes with many social, economic, emotional, financial, and mental issues. The center for disease control (CDC) identified teenage pregnancy as a significant public health issue mostly in developing countries. Teen pregnancy affects many sectors like education, family, healthcare, youths and the government. According to the Demographic Health Survey, nearly three hundred thousand adolescent girls in Kenya aged between 10 and 19 years became pregnant every year making its prevalence rate at 18%. Teenage pregnancy hold Kenya back from achieving its SDG goals since most adolescent girls drop out of school after getting pregnant making it difficult for them to escape poverty.
Most cases of teenage pregnancy occur due to sexual activity either voluntarily or involuntarily. Most kids in Kenya are sexually active at the age of fifteen. Moreover, most of them neglect the use of protection and contraceptives. Since teenage enjoys the social life of parting and the use of drugs and alcohol, the intoxication leads to poor judgment leading to the involvement of sexual activities. Early marriage is also a common factor contributing to teenage pregnancy in Kenya since most marriages are informal and unregistered. Sexual abuse and molestation also lead to early teenage pregnancy. Peer pressure and media influence have also contributed to teenage pregnancy. Most teenagers get involved in sexual activities due to peer pressure from their friends. They feel left out since their friends have already had sex. The media also influence them when they watch adult content making them want and experience the pleasure of having sex leading to pregnancy
Teenage pregnancy prevention measures
Abstinence – is the best way to prevent teenage pregnancy even though some people consider it old fashion. It will allow them to reconsider their sexual option and prepare them to be ready when the right times comes. With this at home teenagers will have much information about sex and its consequences. Communication – Parents should be clear about sexual values and attitudes and where they stand. These will help their kids have a better understanding of sex, and they will know how to approach the issue. They will not be surprised by sexual activities making them want to experiment things out. The federal government should also put programs in plans that offer an affordable family plan. Also, educate teenage girls on the risks of having sex at an early age. Use of contraceptives – it is advised that if teenagers have to be involved in sexual activities; it is appropriate for them to use contraceptives to avoid cases of pregnancy. The best-recognized contraceptive in the market is LARC. They also are educated on how to use contraceptives. To top up that they are also given information on how to use a condom and encouraged to be open about requesting their sexual partner to consider the use of the condom. The limitation of the method is that it will be like the government is encouraging teenagers to have sex.
National Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health Policy (ASRH) is a policy developed in Kenya in 2015 to educate the public more about sexual education in relation to the adolescents. The aim of the policy was to promote national development through enhancing sexual and reproductive health of teenagers in Kenya in order to release their full potential. The key focus of the policy was to reduce the rate at which teenage girls were getting pregnant.
The policy is not widely spread across the nation hence many counties in the nation have not realized the policy making it hard to enact its implementation. The Kenyan government also lucks funds to implement and sustain the policy.
Most teenage pregnancies occur due to unprotected sex, lack of personal responsibility and lack of maturity. These occur due to sex stigmatization and lack of proper sex education. Most of the teenage mothers fail to finish their education and end up dropping out of school, and these lead to lack of unemployment failing to offer their child with proper financial support. A teenage mother is mostly abandoned by their baby daddy who is afraid of responsibilities leaving the mother and the child to suffer alone. Due to the difficulties faced with teenage pregnancies, most teenagers opt to go for abortion to avoid the burden of raising the baby. Teenage pregnancy is accompanied by health implications that cause the death of both the mother and the child. Teenage pregnancy is very expensive to manage in all aspects, so it advised for parents, institution, religion outlet and the federal government to put out measures to educate teenagers about teenage pregnancy and sex to avoid such incidents from happening
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