Parents told to be responsible amid high teen pregnancies countrywide

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Katakwa Diocese Anglican Church Bishop John Okude addressing the press during the ground breaking ceremony of Kocholya KMTC campus in Teso North Constituency.

Leaders in Teso North Constituency are appealing to parents to revert to old parenting methods to guard their children against adolescent pregnancies and other societal ills.

            The leaders, including  area Member of Parliament Oku Kaunya and Katakwa Diocese Anglican Church Bishop John Okude said it is wrong for parents to abdicate their  responsibilities to teachers, saying
adolescent pregnancies are ruining the future of many girls across the
country.

            Their appeal comes even as the records from Busia County Referral Hospital indicate a slight drop of adolescent pregnancies in the
county between January and May 2020 as compared to January and May
2019.

            According to the records the total number of cases from the seven Busia sub counties dropped by 494 as the county registered 2550 cases
between January and May 2020 and 3,044 in the same period last year.

            The duo who spoke during a ground breaking ceremony for Kocholya Kenya Medical Training College in the constituency said it is
a blunder for parents to abandon the traditional ways of instilling discipline into children hence the many cases of unwanted pregnancies.

            Kaunya said: “What has happened recently is that parents are no longer taking care of their children and ensuring they are disciplined. Instead they have bestowed that responsibility to the teachers.”

            The MP called on authorities to take stern action against the perpetrators of the vice as a deterrent measure before the lives of
many promising students and pupils are destroyed.

            Okude on his part expressed disappointment in the rising cases across the country saying the responsibility in combating teenage pregnancies
mainly lies with the parents after the government closed all learning institutions following the Coronavirus outbreak.

“With the government extending the school reopening period to next
year parents should ensure they guard their children as the teachers
who spend a lot of time with them in school are no longer there,” he
stated.

            Teso North Sub County administrator Zipporah Odikor urged parents to
take charge of their children and train them on life skills in order to guard them against early sex escapades and adolescent pregnancies.

            She called on both parents-father and mother to be responsible and take care of their children rather than wait until they have gone
astray and start blaming each other.

            Busia Kenya Union of Post Primary Teachers executive secretary Moffat
Okisai who spoke separately in Busia said the spike in teenage pregnancy cases is worrying and all stakeholders should join hands to
combat the vice.

            He said the laws dealing with sexual offences should be reviewed in order to deal with sex pests preying on the young girls mercilessly.

“The holiday is going to be very long, that is five months from now. As we all know an idle mind is a devil’s workshop-parents should
protect their children. Let us all take part in guarding and promoting good behavior among our children,” he said.

 According to the January to May 2020 Busia County Referral Hospital records, Butula Sub County registered the highest number of adolescent pregnancies at 517.

            Matayos was second with 448 and Teso North third with 441. Nambale had 364, Teso South 340, Samia 252 and Bunyala had the least incidents at 188.

            Busia County Children’s Officer Esther Wasige attributed the high number in Butula to limited access to programmes aimed at protecting children rights as compared to the other six sub counties.

 However, she noted that such programmes will soon be extended to the area.