RUNDU, 24 MAY – The Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) is concerned about the high teenage pregnancy rate in the Kavango East Region.
The concern was voiced by Kavango East Regional Secretary, Anselm Marungu at a recent meeting held by the regional youth wing with SPYL Secretary, Ephraim Nekongo during his visit to the region.
Marungu said the youth in the region face a lot of problems such as teenage pregnancy and alcohol and drug abuse.
“These social ills are connected,” he said.
Alcohol and drug abuse lead to unprotected sex, which in turn leads to pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, he added.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Health and Social Services, about 5 900 teenage pregnancies were recorded in the Kavango regions in 2016 and 2017. Between 2010 and 2013, 6 217 girls under the age of 19 fell pregnant in the two regions.
Marungu said parents should start getting involved in their children’s lives and should be aware of who they socialise with instead of leaving it up to teachers as the teachers have children of their own to educate.
“Education starts at home… We must also be open to speak about sex education with our children at home, in schools and churches. In fact everyone who calls themselves a leader should fight against these social ills,” he said.
With regards to passion killing, Marungu advised young people in relationships to accept it when their partner ends a relationship.
“Everything has a beginning and an ending and it does not matter how much they have invested in the education or social progression of their partner,” he said.
A member of the Namibia National Students Organisation in the region, who asked not to be named, said a lot of factors contribute to the high number of teenage pregnancies, especially in the rural areas.
She mentioned a lack of information on how to avoid pregnancy as a teenager and lack of activities for young people.
“I also think teenage pregnancy is a sign of failed parenting as we have these cases everywhere in the country. One of the reasons why teenage pregnancy is high in our region is because of the lack of involvement of parents in their children’s lives,” she said.