I blame parents for the surge of teen pregnancy during COVID19 pandemic

I blame parents for the surge of teen pregnancy during COVID19 pandemic

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BY ALICE ODHIAMBO

When parents fail to talk to their teenage sons and daughters about their sexuality, they should blame or punish them if they make bad choices. Let us talk to our teenagers about sex. Let us tell them the blank truth and it will set them free.

I personally believe that teenage pregnancy is also caused by our parents and guardians because they don’t talk to teenagers about sex or any sexual reproductive health. This is either because they assume they aren’t of age or they just fear talking about such topics.

It is no coincidence that we saw a 40% surge in teen pregnancies across the country during the pandemic. This is the time when teens were at home and their parents were solely responsible for ensuring they had the right information about responsible sexual behavior.

Statistics show that teenage pregnancy dropped from by 5% from 2017 to the beginning of 2020.  This was because of the government and different non-governmental players came together to empower young women and girls ensuring access to reproductive rights, and creating awareness on effects of teenage pregnancy.

However, it is has come to our attention that they have focused so much on trying to change the behavior of girls to prevent the teenage pregnancy forgetting that boys are equally responsible for the problem.

This is why we should educate parents and give them information about teenage pregnancy. This way, we will be able to tackle teenage pregnancy by its roots and prevent our teenagers from early marriages, dropping out of schools and postpartum depression.

Ms Odhiambo is a NAYA youth advocate in Migori County