Teenagers today in Kenya High Schools are exposed to a lot of sex on our television screens. It is no surprise that there’s a rise in teenage pregnancies in Kenya.
It is also common knowledge that teenagers like to experiment yet a teenager in our society today is not equipped to be a parent and so teenage pregnancy can be a crises for both the girl, the baby and her parents and even society at large.Teenage Pregnancy is brought about by various factors such as;
Peer pressure – teens want to fit in with their peers. Most of the times teens allow their friends to influence on their decision to have sex even when they don’t understand the consequences associated with the act.
Absent parents – where there is very little or no guidance from the parents teenage pregnancy can result due to having a lot of free time to themselves. Many parents are busy with their hectic lives that they don’t provide the support and guidance their young teenagers need.
Lack of knowledge – teenage girls who are not educated about sex have more chances of having unplanned pregnancies. Some do not understand the emotional and biological aspects that are associated with sexual activity. Teens get incorrect information from movies, videos and friends. Teens don’t have proper knowledge to make responsible decisions on whether to engage themselves in sexual activity.
Lack of Spiritual awareness – Even though the Christina teen goes to church and is involved in Church activities, t hey are not able to understand how to implement the teachings taught in Church in their new found teen challenges.
Drug abuse mostly alcohol has been on the rise among many teenagers in Secondary schools. The abuse of the alcohol make’s teenagers lose control of themselves and indulge in sexual behavior. Most of these sexual acts are unprotected leading either to the girl conceiving and worse transmission of deadly diseases.
Early marriage mostly for girls at the age of adolescence is another cause of Teenage Pregnancy. Most of the African communities believe that a girl can be married when she enters her youth.
Sexual abuse like Rape is a common evil act that befalls many women. Teenage girls are no exception.
Socioeconomic elements such as poverty lure teenage girls to sex for money. The girls enter into prostitution as a source of income in order to take care of themselves and their poor families. These sexual activity will make them pregnant.
The Dilemma of Teenage Pregnancy in Kenya
1) Teenage parents are bound to be involved in delinquent behaviors.
2) Many teenage parents are likely to drop from High school and thus will be less educated and this will affect the family income.
3) Little employment prospects.
4) Children of teenage pregnancies are more likely not to receive proper health services because of financial difficulties of the mother and father which means the child will be hospitalized for poor nutrition.
5) Offspring of teenage parents are more likely to be poor, abused and neglected than those who delay child bearing.
6) Children born to teen mothers are also more likely to have greater risk of intellectual and academic achievement.
7) Abortion could be seen as a remedy to teenage pregnancy due to parental and social pressure. This is not a solution as abortion has its effects on the teenage mother and the unborn child.
8) Teenage Pregnancy occurs when most of the girls are not ready to be mothers. The idea of becoming a mother torments the teenage mind so much that they are likely to turn to drug abuse for comfort or consider committing suicide.
9) Sexual transmitted diseases can also be a consequence of teenage pregnancy.
Prevention of Teenage Pregnancies in Kenya
1) Teenagers need to go a through comprehensive sex education in school which should include the consequences of having sex at an early age.
2) The Parents and church should teach the youth on the benefits of obeying the word of God with regards to the sacredness of sex and why it is forbidden outside marriage.
3) The Media should be prevented by the Government from airing programmes with sexual activities before 9am.
4) School going girls should be taught how to set standards for themselves based on Christian values and to believe in them.
5) Christian guidance should be given to teenager in order to avoid the Teenage Pregnancy. Teenagers should understand that the bible forbids pre-marital sex. Sex is a sacred gift that should only be practiced by married people; therefore indulging in early sex is sin against God.
6) Parent of modern teenagers must spend more time than usual with their teenagers. Give them quality time, pay attention to what they are saying and respect it but also watch them cautiously.
7) Teenagers like experimenting and therefore parents need to keep a careful watch over their children so that they do not go picking behaviors that are unacceptable. This includes even having access to their r cell phones
Being a mother or a father is the best thing on earth however, like Ecclesiastes puts it there is a time for everything. Teenage hood is not the time for being a parent. It is the time for investing in yourself so that you can become a Perfect parent when the time comes.
A teenager should therefore take this opportunity to love yourself and be disciplined and not engage in activities that can lead you to teenage pregnancy. As for the parent, Know your teens, talk with them, pray for them and work with them. That is all you can do to prevent teenage pregnancies in Kenya.