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Impact of teenage pregnancy

She encouraged parents to communicate with their children by referring them to forums that can educate them if they feel they don’t have all the answers to the questions.

The Gauteng Department of Health released a report about the high rate of teenage pregnancy.

From April 2020 to March this year, 23 226 teenage pregnancies were reported in the province.

Gauteng MEC for Health, Nomathemba Mokgethi, said 934 babies were delivered by girls between the ages of 10 to 14 years.

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“There were 19 316 babies delivered by girls between the ages of 15 to 19 years, while 2 976 girls between the ages of 10 and 19 decided to terminate pregnancies,” said Mokgethi.

“Teenage pregnancy impacts negatively on educational opportunities for young girls. Those without support and help and are less likely to finish high school and pursue a career,” social worker Yolanda Mshumpela told GCN.

She described the report as “devastating” and expressed concern about the number of teenage pregnancies.

Mshumpela added that factors that lead to teenage pregnancy include social ills and lack of information.

“There may even be a lack of parental capacity. Robust assessment needs to be done in families, whereby the assessment framework tools need to be used.

“We need to look at a child’s developmental needs, family and environmental factors as well as parental capacity. I have observed that most families lack ‘attachment’,” said Mshumpela.

She said teenagers are emotionally not mature to handle the challenges of raising a child.

“Many suffer from low self-esteem and adapting to their peers. They drop out of school and are likely to suffer postpartum depression,” said Mshumpela.

She advised that teenage mothers and their families need support.

“The child is likely to face significant environmental and psycho-social stressors and that needs to be dealt with early. Building a support network can benefit the young mother and her family,” said Mshumpela.

She encouraged parents to communicate with their children by referring them to forums that can educate them.

“Local forums assist young girls from falling pregnant and abstinence is encouraged. They are advised on preventative measures and the consequences of teenage pregnancy,” said Mshumpela.

Contact the newsroom by emailing: 
Marietta Lombard (Editor) germistoncitynews@caxton.co.za,  or (Journalists) Busi Vilakazi busiv@caxton.co.za

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