Eastern Province has recorded a total of 16,798 teenage pregnancies captured under the first two quarters of 2023, health officials have revealed.
Provincial Public Health Specialist, Charles Fanaka, said Chadiza district recorded the highest number of teenage pregnancies totaling 893.
Fanaka told Zambia Monitor that from January to March this year, the province recorded 9,525 teenage pregnancies while from April to June, a total of 7,273 cases were captured.
He said 285 girls at 15 years and below were recorded to have fallen pregnant from January to March while under the same age group, about 228 fell pregnant from April to June this year.
“Basically these are issues to do with sexual abuse because by Law, any child who has sexual contact below the age of 16 that is practically a defilement, I think this is a cause for concern because we have our children who are being sexually abused at a very early age,” Fanaka said.
He said Chipata district recorded the lowest number of teenage pregnancies at 23.8 percent.
The Provincial Health Officer said the province was currently on track in the fight against adolescent or teenage pregnancies.
Fanaka said teenage pregnancies have an effect on the girls and may affect health issues, education and may also affect their future.
“So under the health of the girl, when a girl gets pregnant at an early age, the birth canal is not well developed for them to be able to carry a baby as well as deliver a baby.They are at risk of having conditions we call Fistula because of the damage that a baby passing through the narrow birth canal may have on the reproductive organs of the girl,” he said.
Fanaka said the Provincial Health Office (PHO) discouraged teenage pregnancies due to the health issues arising therefrom.
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