Alarm as over 15,000 teenagers became pregnant in Nakuru between 2021 and 2022

Teen pregnancy

Data shows that in 2021 alone, Nakuru had 11,469 girls aged 10-19 attending clinics for pregnant mothers

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

More than 15,000 girls aged 10-19 became pregnant between January 2021 and November 2022, according to the county health department.

Data shows that in 2021 alone, Nakuru had 11,469 girls aged 10-19 attending clinics for pregnant mothers.

This means the girls are becoming mothers when they are supposed to be in school, a trend leaders and other stakeholders have described as ‘unacceptable’.

The report also shows that from January to May this year, 3,449 teenage pregnancies were recorded in Nakuru.

“It is discouraging that for every 100 people attending [antenatal clinics] in Nakuru county, 22 are aged between 10 and 19. These numbers have been the average for the last six years,” the report says.

“Last year, Nakuru had 11,469 girls aged 10-19 attending [clinics] for pregnant mothers and from January to May 2022 alone, 3,449 teenage pregnancies have been recorded.”

The revelations have disturbed Nakuru leaders, led by Governor Susan Kihika, who have resolved to join hands to save girls.

“This is unacceptable and we must all do something to save our girls,” stated Ms Kihika in a speech read by her deputy David Kones in Naivasha last week.

“Allow me to state here that the root causes of high adolescent pregnancies are found in our cultural practices such as circumcision, child marriages, and sexual and gender-based violence.

“Although Nakuru witnessed a decline in adolescent pregnancies from 18 per cent in 2020 to 14 per cent in 2021, it is not fast and significant enough to secure the future of our girls.”

The leaders have called for concerted efforts between leaders, teachers, parents and policymakers and the community to find a lasting solution to the problem of teenage pregnancies.

"As leaders, we are deeply concerned about the increasing number of girls falling [into the trap of] early pregnancies and other vices like female genital mutilation,” said Kuresoi South MP Joseph Tonui.

Mr Tonui cited poverty as a major trigger of teenage pregnancies.

“Poverty is one of the main reasons teenage girls get pregnant, but as leaders, we have joined hands with various stakeholders to support girls from poor backgrounds to enable them to attain education and protect them from sexual predators,” he said.

MPs Liza Chelule (woman rep), Martha Wangari (Gilgil), Samuel Arama (Nakuru West) and Charity Kathambi (Njoro) are also concerned about the rising number of teenage pregnancies in the region.

The leaders have urged teenage girls to abstain from sex and early marriages and concentrate on their studies.

The areas most affected by teenage pregnancies include Kuresoi South, Kuresoi North, Bahati, Subukia and informal settlements in Nakuru city.

The most affected slums in Nakuru include Kaptembwa, Bondeni, Kivumbini and Flamingo.

The leaders said early pregnancies and FGM have no place in the modern society and were ruining the future of girls.

Nakuru Human Rights Network over the weekend asked Nakuru women leaders to mentor teenagers and tame of early pregnancies.

“Nakuru has more than five women leaders … Retrogressive cultural practices like female genital mutilation and teenage pregnancies take our society backwards. We need to shun these practices and embrace modernity,” the group’s director David Kuria told the Nation.

Last year, a report from the National Council for Population and Development (NCPD) and National Aids Control Council (NACC) revealed that Nakuru was among nine counties that collectively recorded 20,803 pregnancies among girls aged 10-14 between January 2020 and September 2021, comprising 56 per cent of the total national tally.

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