A total of 17,600 female pupils fell pregnant in Zambia in the year 2012.
Out of this number, only 6,000 went back to school under the government’s re-entry policy.
Deputy Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health Ingrid Mphande said this confirms that a lot of adolescents are indulging in sexual activities.
Ms. Mphande said government cannot therefore turn a blind eye to dangers which young people are exposed to.
She said a lot of attention must be directed towards adolescents in order for the country to achieve effective and efficient HIV prevention, treatment and care services.
She pointed out that many adolescents face peer pressure to engage into alcohol, substance abuse and sexual relationships at an early age.
Ms. Mphande said this in Lusaka today during the launch of the adolescent friendly health services standard and guidelines.
She noted that adolescents should therefore be on government’s focus in order to stop future infections by promoting behavioural change through practicing safer sex.
Ms. Mphande said peer pressure puts adolescents at risk of getting unwanted pregnancies and infections such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS.
She said in the recent past, there have been several media reports of girls dropping out of school due to pregnancy.
She said one of the most common reasons for dropping out of school is unwanted pregnancies or early marriages.