Something is in the water in Kenya, and it is not good.
While the vast majority of developed nations have seen a declining trend in teen pregnancy, countries that do not fall in that particular sect continue to struggle with teen pregnancy and the effects that the condition has on young mothers and the population in general.
Kenya seems to be the latest example of how teen pregnancy continues to stifle young ladies across the globe. Recently, teens in Kenya took the country's national school exams. Seventy-two of the students were expecting babies shortly and 38 girls had given birth right before the test. Such high stats made people start to wonder, "Why are the pregnancy rates still so darn high?".
In Kenya today, the rate of teen pregnancy and motherhood hovers around 18%. That means that one in five girls between the ages 15 and 19 has either had a live birth or finds herself pregnant with her first baby. These rates increase with age. By the time a Kenyan girl is 19 years old, she has about a 40% chance of becoming pregnant. So what does this mean for the girls of Kenya? These young ladies who aspire to create change and opportunity as they grow older? The outcomes for these moms-to-be are not excellent. Most of these girls either drop out of their schooling, or they search for a means to terminate the pregnancy, most of the time turning to unsafe methods. As of now, fetal termination is illegal in the country of Kenya so when a teenage girl gets pregnant, she can either have the baby or put both of their lives on the line to terminate the pregnancy.
Sadly the age of technology doesn't seem to be doing these girls any favors. Girls in Kenya are struck between a history of conservatism and the dawn social media over-sharing. Proper education regarding safe choices when intimate isn't widely available either. Discussing appropriate contraception isn't something that is common in the country, leaving underaged girls vulnerable to the adverse effects of the choices that they often make with their bodies.
So what is to be done here? Educate. Educate. Educate. Furthermore, school re-entry programs must be revamped so that these girls can go back to school at some point and finish their educations. Beyond that, there will need to be a general shift in how the conservative people of Kenya handle the changes in today's society. Ignoring the problem will never do anything but create a greater issue at hand.