South Africa News

Tshwane calls on young people to avoid risky s.e.xual behaviour

Tshwane calls on young people to avoid risky s.e.xual behaviour. This is according to the MMC for Health Rina Marx who said Tshwane public health facilities have over the past three years recorded nearly 10 000 teenage deliveries. “This figure represents a concerning high incidence of teenage pregnancies in the metro,” said Marx.

The City of Tshwane is calling on young people to avoid risky s.e.xual behaviour as it experiences high and concerning teenage pregnancies. Between July 2019 and June 2021, the City recorded 9 922 teenage deliveries by 674 girls between the ages of 10 and 14 years and a further 9 248 girls between the ages of 15 and 19 years gave birth.

MEC for Health Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi revealed in the Gauteng legislature in April last year that 23 226 teenagers were reported to be pregnant, between April 2020 and March 2021 in Gauteng. Something which prompted activists and politicians to call on young people to be exposed to more health and s.e.x education to avoid teenage pregnancy and diseases.

Marx said: “The high incidence of teenage pregnancies has many socio-economic consequences. Often babies are abandoned or given up for adoption, which places an additional burden on the child welfare system. “Furthermore, teenage pregnancies present a lot of challenges, which include health, education (school drop-outs) and financial stress.

“The City of Tshwane would like to encourage young people to abstain from risky behaviour that may lead to early or unwanted pregnancies. Early teenage s.e.xual activity also increases the risk of contracting and spreading sexually transmitted disease such as HIV.”

Marx said teenagers and their parents should visit municipal clinics for services on relevant information on teenage pregnancy, choices on possible termination of pregnancy and available contraceptives.

The facilities also provide health promotion leaflets that are available in various languages. They also offer free contraceptives. They have “happy hour” sessions between 2pm and 3pm daily where teenagers get preference to receive related health services and advice.

“Now is the time for all of us, including parents, teachers, church leaders and the community at large, to act decisively to help our future leaders to make informed and responsible decisions,” she added.

Parents Nakedi Mokoena and Nkele Motaung said it was frustrating that even after all the education on safe s.e.x and abstinence, teenagers were still falling pregnant and finding themselves forced to drop out of school.

“I think maybe we should start punishing men who take advantage of teenagers harshly because when we are being honest, some of this girl get impregnated by men who are way older than them. This is one of the problems we see here in Mabopane but it is like we are not attending to it as we should,” Motaung said.

Source – IOL News

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