Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia on Friday 27th, November participated in a dialogue to discuss the findings of a report on unintended pregnancies and HIV amongst adolescents and young people in Homa Bay County.
In her remarks, Prof. Kobia noted that the study findings are critical as they will provide solutions to help reduce teenage pregnancy.
She pointed out that teenage pregnancies are barriers to gender equality because when young girls become pregnant and drop out of school they miss out on an opportunity to build a better quality of life.
“If we empower families economically they will be able to provide basic needs for their children and we shall reduce the number of teenage pregnancies where the County is dealing with over 4,000 cases of teenage pregnancies as per the Ministry of Health reports released during the COVID-19 pandemic period,” said Prof. Kobia.
The Cabinet Secretary called for a gender sensitive approach to address specific vulnerability of both boys and girls.” Traditional social norms that endorse masculinity and perpetrate violence as an acceptable trait should be discouraged,” she said.
She said that the key findings from the report and the other reports recently released have implication for both levels of government and stakeholders in Kenya to accelerate efforts to present and effectively respond to the disempowerment of girls on issues of GBV.
Statistics from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS 2019) show that women and girls make up 50.5% of Kenyan Population. Nearly one quarter of women give birth by age 18 and 18% of adolescent girls aged 15-19 are already mothers or pregnant with first child.
Homa Bay County Governor, Hon. Cyprian Awiti welcomed the report and committed County Government support in the successful implementation of workable solutions. He urged all the partners to work together to achieve lasting solutions for the benefit of adolescents and young people.
On her part, UNICEF Country Representative, Maniza Zanam said with closure of schools due to COVID-19 pandemic, young girls are removed not only from education, but from the protective routine that schooling offers placing them them at greater risk of the triple threat of sexual violence, HIV & unintended pregnancy.
She noted that the report findings will guide in improving the interventions for adolescents and equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to stay safe and healthy.
The event culminated in the official launch of the study report titled ”Unintended pregnancies and HIV Amongst Adolescents and Young People: A situation Analysis of Homa Bay, Kenya.”
Other participants present were Homa Bay County Women Rep. Hon. Gladys Wanga, Homa Bay County Health Executive Committee Member, Prof. Richard Muga among others.
#HomaBayHIVReport #16Days #orangetheworld
By Nelly Kosgey