UN agency pledges to support Tanzania in ending teenage pregnancies

DAR ES SALAAM, Aug. 15– The United Nations Population Fund
(UNFPA) on Sunday pledged to support the government of Tanzania in ending
teenage pregnancies that resulted in the increasing tidal wave of girls’
dropouts from schools.

“Teenage pregnancies is a major roadblock towards Tanzania’s socio-economic
development,”said Hashina Begum, an official from the UNFPA speaking in the
political capital Dodoma during the commemoration of International Youth
Day. “We are very determined to continue cooperating with the government
and other relevant stakeholders in controlling causes that lead to teenage
pregnancies in Tanzania,” she said. Statistics from the Tanzania Bureau of
Statistics showed that about 21 percent of Tanzanian girls aged between 15
and 19 have given birth. Begum said teenage pregnancies could be curbed by
imparting the young generation with sound sexual and reproductive education
as well as providing them with better health services. “Teen pregnancies
stand tall among major challenges that derail socio-economic development in
many African countries, including Tanzania,” she said.

Begum said it was prudent for the government of Tanzania to focus more
attention in the fight against teenage pregnancies.She underscored the need
for the government to ensure young people took part in political, economic
and social issues in their communities and the country in general. “This
will enable them make informed choices regarding their bodies, sexuality
and reproduction without discrimination, violence or coercion,” said the
UNFPA official. Begum said the UNFPA will continue cooperating with the
government to empower young people in the country by giving them tools to
become even more influential and productive actors in the society.-XINHUA