Migori County Faces Rise in Teenage Pregnancies Linked to Defilement Cases

Migori County, Kenya - Recent data reveals a concerning increase in adolescent pregnancies in Migori County, significantly attributed to rising defilement cases. Seth Mideyo, a Migori health official overseeing child adolescence health activities in Uriri Sub County, reported that most teenage pregnancies in the area result from such incidents.

During a sensitization forum for girls at Kanyamkago Ward in Uriri Sub County, Mideyo also identified Gender Based Violence (GBV) as a key factor contributing to the 19 percent rate of adolescent pregnancies in the county. He emphasized the importance of the ongoing 16 days of activism against GBV, aiming to raise community awareness about the detrimental effects of GBV, which include teenage pregnancies, new HIV infections, and child labor.

According to Kenya News Agency, Migori County has an HIV prevalence rate of 10.4 percent, with Awendo Sub County leading in new HIV infections among adolescents. Uriri Sub County, meanwhile, has recorded an 18 percent rate in adolescent pregnancies. He noted that the Department of Health, in collaboration with local Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), is actively working to sensitize the community to address these issues, which have become burdensome for many households in the county.

The health official acknowledged the need for integrated services to achieve zero teenage pregnancies and GBV in the county. He disclosed ongoing initiatives to engage girls of appropriate age in receiving contraceptive and other health services to protect them from new HIV infections, unwanted pregnancies, and early marriages.

Uriri Sub County-Assistant County Commissioner Watson Hinzano emphasized the importance of investing in young girls' empowerment and self-sufficiency, particularly in understanding their rights regarding GBV. Hinzano assured that the local administration would continue its efforts to educate the community, especially women and girls, who often bear the brunt of societal violence. He also called on parents to safeguard their children against teenage pregnancies and drug abuse.

Meanwhile, Rose Mwita, an official from the Ripple Effect NGO, elaborated on the organization's role in assisting the community through sensitization programs targeting HIV, teenage pregnancies, and GBV. Mwita highlighted the organization's focus on educating girls and women during the December holidays on GBV issues, coinciding with the 16 days of activism in the county.