The latest staggering figures surrounding teenage pregnancies came at a time when the country is battling the Covid-19 pandemic with the education ministry revealing the number of teenage girls who have become pregnant across the country doubling for the 2020 academic year.
As it stands, the country has recorded about 3 627 teenage pregnancies. Education minister Anna Nghipondoka said students can no longer be kept out of school and pregnancy statistics are supporting that notion.
Youth Corner spoke to some young Namibians to tap into their brains and enquire on the best possible ways to mitigate the increasing rate of teenage pregnancy in the country.
n Patrick N Nghifikwa
One possible way that this issue can be tackled can be by educating the youth on how to practice safe protected sexual intercourse. As a nation, we need to implement a way on how we can educate teenagers on how to practice safe sex.
Because no matter how we try and pretend that teenagers are not copulating is not the case because the reality they are. One way that this type of education can be passed on to the youth, can be through our education systems through subjects such as Life Skills.
Another way can be for parents to find ways and understand what their kids are exposed on the internet especially on social media.
If the trend of no effort or minimum effort continues, the numbers are most likely to continue rising.
n Kuruski Matheus
Seeing that most teenagers get pregnant by individuals who lack the knowledge and have little understanding of the prevention of teen pregnancy, awareness campaigns must be held regularly at schools as well as in rural areas. Young people need to be constantly reminded about the consequences of early pregnancies.
Health educators/ peer educators should educate everyone about the implications of teen pregnancy such as increased costs of living, high rates of school dropouts and the impossibility to further their studies and earn a job.
In addition to the transmission of knowledge, condoms should be distributed all over, especially in areas where people may not have access to them so that they engage in safe sex.
n Claudia Diana Indileni Nandumbu
Teenage relationships with their parents are a prime factor, which can diminish the rate of teenage pregnancies in our country. Nowadays, traditional social control over the sexual behaviour of teenagers by families is less effective due to new rights implemented.
However; this does not mean that parents should lose control over their children. Guardians should be monitoring their children at all times and should start having more discussions concerning sex and how to avoid pregnancies.
Especially with female children, for “charity begins at home.”
n Panduleni Nghitila
The very first step to alleviate its occurrence is by improving accessibility to contraceptives as well as to educate teenagers on the aforementioned subject so that they are not shy to approach health facilities and ask for contraceptives, be it the physical ones such as condoms or the chemical means such as pills and injections.
At the moment, there is some stereotyping and uneasy feeling towards teenagers who use contraceptives as the general public still sees it as a taboo.
Education on the use of contraceptives should therefore be prioritized so that their use becomes an accepted norm.
n George Hindjou
Schools should start to openly talk about sexual intercourse with learners. They should also introduce a subject were they teach teenagers about sexual health.
Biology and natural sciences have such topics in their curriculum but a broader approach is needed to tackle the situation at hand.
Furthermore, contraceptives should be made available and accessible at schools. It is no secret that learners are now engaged in sexual activities, thus it is only right to make such available and accessible to every learner.
On the other end, parents should also talk about sexual matters openly with their children.
They should advise them on ways to keep them safe when practising sexual intercourse. Most children don’t openly talk about sexual intercourse with their parents because they feel ashamed of it, or they simply feel like it’s disrespectful but it’s a reality that teenagers are falling pregnant drastically, and the issue needs to be tackled.
n Paulus Hanghome
Judging from the latest statistics on teenage pregnancy, the top six regions are the northern ones.
That tells me that a lot is not being done on contraceptive education. Children deep in remote areas lack education on family planning.
More awareness campaigns by fellow youngsters need to take place and on a peer-to-peer basis. As teenagers are not comfortable expressing themselves with adults. Parents need to openly talk to their children about sex education and the complications thereof.
- Photos: Contributed