What you need to know:
- Move is to ensure all pregnant schoolgirls across the country access free pre and post-natal care.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed that all pregnant schoolgirls be registered to ensure they access free pre and post-natal care, Education Chief Administrative Secretary Zack Kinuthia has revealed.
He told the Nation the directive is contained in a presidential directive issued recently, including an order that the national crime research centre come up with a report on high incidence of child abuse in the country.
“All the chiefs and their assistants have been directed to register all the pregnant schoolgirls and ensure they do not fail to access maternal healthcare,” he said, adding that the presidential communication to that effect has since been relayed to all County Commissioners.
Mr Kinuthia said the president is worried that due to the social stigma most of girls in their teens suffer once they conceive, many could end up failing to get maternal care hence aggravating the current crisis, leading to birth-related complications.
The directive also stipulates that the administrators reveal the identities of those behind the pregnancies.
The CAS acknowledged that the government is aware that many of the pregnant minors live under threat from their perpetrators, with some extreme cases involving abuse from close family members and those in authority.
Mr Kinuthia said the data from the registration exercise will also come in handy in ensuring that all of the school going girls resume learning once they deliver.
“We are putting our act together as a government and we will seal all these loopholes...We will hit back hard and furiously. But at the same time, the society, starting at the nuclear family, must also play its role in battling this menace,” he said.