760 Chipata teens impregnated

Written by on July 9, 2019

SIMON MUNTEMBA writes                          

OVER 760 adolescent girls were impregnated in Chipata in Eastern Province in the first quarter of 2019, District Commissioner (DC) Kalunga Zulu has said.

Mr Zulu said in an interview of 2,816 pregnancies recorded between January and March this year during antenatal care, 767 were adolescents.

He said 2,049 were pregnant women aged above 20 years during the same period.

“According to the preliminary report of the Zambia Demographic Health Survey 2018, teenagers with no education or only primary schooling (42 percent and 36 percent, respectively) were more likely to have started childbearing as compared to the 29 percent national average of 23 percent among teenagers with a secondary education,” Mr Zulu said.

He said according to the survey conducted in 2018, teenagers in rural areas tended to start childbearing earlier than those in urban areas.

Chipata district health director Charles Fanaka said the prevalence of adolescent pregnancies was higher in rural and peri-urban areas than urban areas of Chipata.

Dr Fanaka said among the public health facilities, Katambo Health Post in Paramount Chief Mpezeni’s area recorded the highest proportion of adolescent pregnancies at 68.8 percent.

Chipata Hospital Affiliated Health Centre in Kalongwezi was the lowest at 5.3 percent.

Dr Fanaka said none of the 28 pregnant women who attended antenatal at Ejis Professional Medical Centre, a private clinic located in Chipata urban, were below the age of 20 years.

“In order to reduce teenage pregnancies in the district, there is need to keep girls in school for as long as is possible, improve sexuality education in schools, increase access to adolescent health services, improve access to contraception and promote traditional values that encourage women to delay childbearing, including pre-marital sexual abstinence,” Dr Fanaka said.

Last year, Chipata district recorded over 5,000 adolescent pregnancies in the first quarter.

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