Teenage pregnancy and girl-child education

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Oluwaseyi Oyebanji writes

@horizonzambia

Teenage pregnancy which is otherwise known as adolescent pregnancy, is a societal issue that greatly affects a teen girl. It is a menace to the pregnant girl and also to the people around her.

Teenage pregnancy is simply a situation, whereby adolescent girls (between the ages of 13 to 17) indulge in sexual practices either willingly or unwillingly, and then end up having an unwanted pregnancy. In Africa, the percentage for teenage pregnancy is very high compared to other continents and this is linked to a lot of circumstances. One major cause of teenage pregnancies, can be attributed to poverty. Poverty, being a situation whereby a person’s basic needs are not met, can push an adolescent girl into the act of selling her body to men or boys so that she can get paid and cater for herself and family. Aside poverty, ignorance and illiteracy amongst most adolescent girls, pushes them to mess around with the opposite sex, who would end up impregnating them. Many young girls lack the knowledge of sex education, which makes them not to know their right from wrong.

However, due to getting pregnant as an adolescent, teen moms are likely to drop out of school so that they can take proper care of their babies. This means she may not end up having a secondary school certificate  let alone pursue a college education.

Teen moms suffer a lot psychological, physical and mental pains, they may also start developing depression and frustration probably as a result of shame. Pregnant teens, may have a higher risk of difficult delivery because their reproductive system is not fully mature which may lead to death during delivery.

In conclusion, the most effective way of curbing teen pregnancy is absolute abstinence from sexual intercourse. Teenagers should also be taught the health benefit of abstinence, the other benefits and also the dangers of having sexual intercourse; this would help them to be very cautious of their activities and would make them knowledgeable to say no to any sexual advances. In addition, forums should be organized for educating girls in rural areas to know about the dangers of teenage pregnancy and how to avoid it, so that they do not fall victims of unwanted pregnancies.

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