NCPD SETS UP PARENTS AND TEACHERS NETWORK IN NAIROBI COUNTY TOWARDS ENDING TEENAGE PREGNANCIESCanje
By Sammy Tanui and Salome Mutie
Teenage pregnancies remain a challenge in Nairobi County with Prevalence of 17%. In efforts to eliminate the vice in Kenya as per the Country commitment to end teenage pregnancy by 2030 during the international conference on Population and Development, the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, NCPD identified Parents and Teachers as key stakeholders and thus came up with a strategy of setting up Parents and Teachers network in the counties. NCPD Nairobi Region in collaboration with NMS, Health directorate – School Health Program held the first Parents and Teachers Network on 17th June, 2021 at KICD, Ngara. The Meeting brought together representatives of Teachers, Parents, Ministry of Education and Teachers Service Commission to deliberate on ending teenage pregnancy as per ICPD25 commitments and come up with teachers and parents’ network on ending teenage pregnancy in Nairobi County.
Some of the drivers of teenage pregnancies in Nairobi County as discussed in the forum include poverty, lack of parental guidance as parents are busy in economic activities, Social Media influence, Housing infrastructure (children of families living in single rooms learning sexual activity from parents), Drug and substance abuse among others.
The forum came up with the following recommendations and way forward:
- Emphasize on life skills subject in Schools. The Subject is available in the curriculum but not examinable thus teachers do not emphasize on it.
- There is need for awareness creation and strengthen implementation of relevant policies that protect the girls such as menstrual hygiene Policy, Back to School Policy, Sexual Offences Act, the Children’s Act among others.
- The forum Proposed to the government to set up Care centres in the sub-counties whereby teenage mothers can leave their children as they go to school because not all parents are willing to take care of the babies as the teenage girls goes back to School.
- Creation of more awareness to parents to demonstrate responsible parenting and also come up with support programmes targeting parents- the teenage pregnancies are causing psychological problems to the parents and families dissolutions.
- Strengthen MOH – School Health Program to carryout health talks in Schools.
- Proposed mentorship and capacity building of some teenage mothers to be Champions towards ending teenage pregnancies among their peers. It was observed that giving support to teenage mothers is sometimes misinterpreted by their peers and seen as an encouragement for the rest to become teenage mothers.