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Politicians to blame for rising teenage pregnancies, poverty

28 September 2015, 08:07 Jane Zack

Busia - The rise in teenage pregnancies and poverty rate in Busia County has been blamed on politicians who advocate for many children per family that they want translated into votes.

Busia families have been cautioned against being used by politicians who tell them to reproduce more children to add votes.

This was said by Busia County Referral Medical Superintendent, Dr. Janerose Ambuchi during celebrations to mark the World Contraception Day held at Amukura Health Center on Saturday, who also decried the high number of women who die while procuring abortions.

"Your life should be meaningful; you should be adult enough to make the decision of having children, not below 18 years. The poverty rate in Busia County is so high because we have accepted to be used by politicians to sire so many children and yet we cannot manage to bring them up well," Dr Ambuchi said.

She called upon locals to plan their families using modern contraception methods revealing that she has two children whom she can be able to handle.

Read Also: Fury as teenage girl dies while procuring abortion

"There is also wrong perception that women who space children are spoiling their genes which is a total lie," she said.

The Executive Director, Rural Education and Economic Enhancement Programme (REEP), Mary Makokha said she was currently living with 600 child mothers who gave birth at tender ages between 13 and 17 years.

Makokha, who paraded three girls aged 15 years with their children, said parents should accept the truth that children engage in sex early and appealed to stakeholders to talk to such children to avoid early pregnancies.

Busia First Lady, Judy Ojaamong who was the chief guest, urged the locals to take the family planning message seriously and emulate United States Presidents who have one or two children and yet they have
enough resources to carter for even 20 of them.

"Family planning services are free. Men should also be supportive to their wives to alleviate stigmatization," Judy said.

She added that teenage mothers should not be neglected but supported to complete their education and raise their kids.

However, the County Medical Officer for Health, Melisa Lutomia revealed that contraception rate in the County had improved from 40 percent to 57 percent owing to intervention by Marie Stopes Kenya, adding that adolescent sexuality is a reality.

National Council for Population and Development official, Bernard Rotich said Busia County's contraception rate is 58 percent which is at par with the national figure.

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