Muchinga teenage pregnancies alarm First Lady
Chinsali, August 14, 2014. ZANIS… First Lady Christine Kaseba says there is need to find alternative methods to help address the alarming statistics of teenage pregnancies in Muchinga province.
At least 289 school girls in Muchinga Province have fallen pregnant between 2013 and 2014.
ZANIS reports that Mpika district has the highest number recording 108 pregnant school girls followed by Nakonde with 91.
And Dr. Kaseba said the predicament of the school expectant mothers can be addressed through mentorship as it is a basic that has existed since time immemorial and still remains important for the girls of the present generation.
The First Lady said this yesterday when she officially opened the first ever Provincial girl`s mentorship programme, which was held at Chinsali Girls Secondary School.
She said since the introduction of a school mentorship program in 2013 close to 1,000 girls in Lusaka and central Provinces have been mentored.
Dr Kaseba added that 150 girls and 45 teachers will be mentored in Muchinga province this week.
Dr. Kaseba charged that the mentorship will inspire the girls to give back to the community and take up leadership positions.
The First Lady further said operational policies such as the Community Development Mother and Child Health policies, Gender and child policy along with youth and sport policy have a lot to offer in support of both female and male youths.
Dr. Kaseba however expressed sadness over the increasing number of girls dropping out of School in Muchinga Province and the country at large saying an average of 17,600 young girls are affected annually across the country.
Meanwhile, Muchinga Province Minister Gerry Chanda says the province recorded 211 cases of pregnancies in 2013 with an evident increase of 78 cases in the last 6 months of 2014 bringing the total to 289 girls.
Col. Chanda urged parents to take responsibility of instilling right values in children that will help them through the challenges and temptations of life.
He said he was optimistic that the participation of the First Lady in the Mentorship Programme will produce positive results reflecting reduced rates of pregnancies and teenage marriages among girls.
Meanwhile, Muchinga Province Education Officer (PEO) Jobbicks Kalumba has paid glowing tribute to the First Lady for taking time off her busy schedule to grace the event.
Mr. Kalumba said the event is an eye opener for the Ministry of Education in the Province to strengthen all interventions aimed at securing the future of children.