Machakos Woman Rep condemns upsurge of underage pregnancies

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Machakos Woman Representative Joyce Kamene while commissioning a police toilet at the Masii police station in Mwala sub-county of Machakos. Mwala Sub-County Police Commander Ronald Kirui, the Criminal Investigations Officer, Catherine Kinoti and Rev. Benjamin Musyoki of AIC-Mbaikini flanked Kamene. 

Machakos Woman Representative Joyce Kamene has condemned the raising cases of underage pregnancies in the country terming them a violation of children’s rights.

Speaking to KNA in Machakos today, Kamene said all women leaders in Parliament would support the proposed Reproductive Health Care Bill, 2019.

“The proposed Reproductive Health Care Bill and an amendment of the Sexual Offences Act bill should ensure that confirmed offenders are referred for vasectomy as the remedy for the offence,” Kamene said.

Ms. Kamene called on all leaders to join hands in fighting teenage pregnancies.

She reiterated that underage children ought to be protected from such evils adding that all perpetrators must be brought to book and dealt with according to the law.

Ms. Kamene vowed to spearhead the setting up of a child protection center at the Masii police station that would house and protect minors involved in sexual abuse cases as they pursued justice.

The Woman Rep condemned those involved in graft in the government adding that people should desist from such selfish acts as they dragged the country behind.

Regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, Kamene urged leaders to take up the campaign by example to ensure locals do not relent in adherence to the health guidelines set by the Ministry of Health.

Ms. Kamene further rallied support for Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper party pact with the Jubilee government saying the region was bound to reap big in a span of less than two years on development projects among them the Konza Information Communications Technology hub.

According to Kenya Gazette Supplement No. 186 of November 2019, The Reproductive Healthcare Bill, 2019 is an Act of Parliament to provide for the right to reproductive health care.

The bill also aims to set the standards of reproductive health, provide for the right to make decisions regarding reproductive health and for connected purposes.

Media reports citing data from a government-managed health information system have stated that up to 4, 000 adolescent girls may have visited health facilities for antenatal services in Machakos County alone between January and May this year with the figure for the whole country feared it may run into several thousands.

According to Plan International, since containment measures in Kenya were put in place, including closing of schools and restricting movement, accessing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) information and services has become very challenging for girls and women.

The African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) states that with the loss of livelihoods particularly in low-income households, some children may be forced into income-generating activities to support their families’ survival.

 In addition, APHRC states that school closure has stopped the provision of school meals and sanitary towels, which children from disadvantaged families relied on significantly. This raises the risks of young girls engaging in transactional sex in order to gain not only access to these essential needs but also to support their families.