State unveils initiative to help curb adolescent pregnancies
The Health Ministry has launched a campaign to curb teenage pregnancies and spread of HIV among adolescents.
The campaign dubbed ‘End the triple threat in adolescents’ is also aimed at curbing gender-based violence among the youth.
A survey by the Ministry of Health recently shows that 109,110 teen mothers sought antenatal care services in various hospitals across the country for the past one year.
Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi said the numbers are alarming hence the need to act swiftly to end the menace.
“The campaign seeks to address the layered challenge of adolescent pregnancies, HIV infections and sexual and gender-based violence among the young people,” said Mwangangi.
Speaking in Murang’a, the CAS noted that despite the reduction of the prevalence of HIV in the country, the new infections among teenagers have seen the curve fail to flatten fast enough.
She said out of 100 new infections, 17 of them are teenagers, which is a cause of concern.
This, she said, has burdened the overstretched HIV treatment programme adding that the country is spending Sh25.8 billion in the prevention and management of the disease.
She also lamented over increased sexual and gender-based violence among girls with cases up by 85 per cent over the past six years.
In all, 16, 467 cases have been reported, out of which 5,890 survivors were put on Post Exposure Prophylaxis while 236 were confirmed to have contracted the virus and 1,665 adolescents became pregnant.