Namibia: Over 9,000 Teenage Pregnancies Since 2020

By Hilma Nakanduungile

Gender equality minister Doreen Sioka has called on all stakeholders to join hands in addressing teenage pregnancy, following the alarming statistics.

She made the call on Friday during the commemoration and celebration of the Day of the African Child, held at Nghifikwa Ndailikana Primary School in Okongo constituency in the Ohangwena region.

Addressing the gathering, Sioka said in the Ohangwena region alone, over 9000 pregnancies among girls under the age of 19 have been reported between January 2020 and April this year.

She stressed that these alarming statistics demand urgent attention and concerted action.

It is utterly unacceptable that so many young girls are seeing their futures compromised by early pregnancies. Therefore, it is binding upon all of us - the government, parents, communities and educational leaders - to join forces and address this challenge head-on," urged Sioka.

She further called on stakeholders to prioritise and intensify raising awareness about the risks associated with teenage pregnancy, and provide support to vulnerable young people.

"Only through unified, collective action can we ensure that every child can realise their full potential and make meaningful contributions to our nation's development," she highlighted.

Meanwhile, deputy education minister Faustina Caley said Namibia's education system is committed to ensuring inclusivity and equity by removing barriers in

education, and offering essential support services. The ministry of

education has enhanced policies and programmes specifically designed to assist the most marginalised and disadvantaged groups, guaranteeing that every learner, regardless of gender, disability or socioeconomic background, has access to education. Therefore, if there are learners who are not accessing education, please make sure that with the support of our community leaders, every child enters school," urged Caley.

Furthermore, United Nations Children's Fund country representative Samuel Ocran called on all stakeholders to intensify efforts by creating the needed environment and protection mechanisms to ensure that children can live, thrive and fulfil their potential.

"It is sad to note that we, the parents who are supposed to protect our children, are the ones abusing them sometimes. This is something we must stop.

Every child needs to be protected from harm and abuse. Therefore, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that we uphold the rights of our children," stressed Ocran.

*Hilma Nakanduungile is an information officer at MICT Ohangwena.

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