Kenyan officials, at the beginning of July, also announced a surge in the number of teenage pregnancies during the COVID-19 lockdown, with over 150,000 cases recorded. During three months of lockdown, 152,000 Kenyan teenage girls became pregnant, a 40 per cent increase in the monthly average, VOA reports.
According to officials in Kenya, there has been a significant rise in teenage pregnancies, especially since the start of Covid-19 restrictions in March. Data released by the east African country’s health ministry show that in just one county, about 4,000 teenage girls have become pregnant since the start of the year.
As part of safety measures announced by the government, schools were closed nationwide in mid-March. The authorities fear that close relatives of the underage girls could be responsible for their pregnancies.
Tabitha Mukoya, a 45-year-old woman, who lives in a remote village of Machakos County in Kenya told VOA she recently discovered that her teenage daughter was pregnant after she noticed her wearing a sweater for many days.
Her teenage daughter is one of the over 150,000 teenagers who have gotten pregnant. Officials say some of the girls are aged 14 and below. “How can a 12-year-old girl become a mother?” Machakos Children’s Officer, Salome Muthama, said.
Kenya reportedly has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the world, making up 82 out of 1,000 births.