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50 Lim girls in gr. 4 to 7 are mothers now

LIMPOPO has the fifth highest teenage pregnancy rate in the country, with 7,9% of children born being born to girls of schoolgoing age.

LIMPOPO has the fifth highest teenage pregnancy rate in the country, with 7,9% of children born being born to girls of schoolgoing age.

This was revealed by a recent District Health Barometer (DHB) by the Health System’s Trust.

The DHB is a tool designed to assist in making functional information available for monitoring progress in health services delivery at the district level as a means to help improve health systems organisation and delivery.

It is linked to district, provincial and national strategic plans in that it measures similar indicators, but the DHB still functions as an independent “watchdog” to provide input and pinpoint where there are serious gaps or performance issues.

DA Limpopo leader Jacques Smalle said the figure of 7,9% was shocking and exceeded the national average of 6,8%.

The DHB went on to break down the percentage of children born to schoolgoing girls per district with Vhembe being the highest at 8,4%.

Smalle said answers to certain questions to the department of education in the provincial legislature suggested that some 121 schools in the province had a total of 663 pregnant learners in 2013.

“Of these, 50 learners were between gr. 4 and 7, 105 were in gr. 8, 197 learners were in gr. 9 and 311 learners were between gr. 10 and 12. This begs the question of what action has been taken by the department to ensure that these girls continue with uninterrupted education.

“We call on the department of education to combat this scourge,” Smalle said.

Education spokesperson, Paena Galane could not be reached for comment by the time of going to print despite several messages left.

Health spokesperson, Macks Lesufi said the department would comment on the matter at a later date, as the DHB was still being perused.

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