By Jane Kiragu

Imagine being pregnant between 11yrs to 18yrs. What I was thinking about at that age was clothes, fun and parties.

Motherhood is a very important event in the life of a woman. However, increasing numbers of teenage mothers is one of the important concerns in many African countries. According to World Health Organization, every year, approximately 16 million teenage girls give birth worldwide.

Early motherhood has significantly affected not only adolescent girls, but also everyone else around them their spouses, family, school and society at large. Nine years ago, my cousin Amani was 14 years old, she started selling consumer products by the roadside to help her family and earn her school fees.

While there, she met a 30 –year-old man who offered to take care of her and help her with school needs and later she ended up being pregnant. What happened to her was all about financial problems. She needed money. People would say all kinds of things about her. They would say she was lazy, not interested in school or foolish but in real sense she was not. She was hardworking, industrious and sensible but just looking for a way to support herself.

The problem that rises from this is that teenagers are not being exposed to extensive information or various forms of birth control, condoms and other methods of prevention. Abstinence remains the best way to prevent pregnancy among teens.

As I was growing up there was this famous TV advert “ NIMECHILL”  “ BADO SIKO READY” it was an abstinence campaign urging young people to abstain from sex. It remains to be one of the most successful adverts in Kenya. Nowadays you’ll never see them on TV.

Teenage mothers accepting the role of motherhood is associated with emotional and mental distress such as fear and worry, regret and frustration, guilt and shame, depression and disruption.

Let’s join hands and help end teenage pregnancy as giving them as much information as they need through teenage forums and seminars about consequences of early pregnancies. PAMOJA TWAWEZA.

Jane Kiragu is an attachee at NCPD and a 4th year student at Riara University

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