The National Council for Population and Development (NCPD) has revealed that fifty per cent of children born in Samburu County are born to teenage mothers aged fifteen to nineteen years.

Speaking at a population stakeholders’ forum in Maralal town, South Rift Region Population Coordinator Janet Lunyao stated that 50 per cent of teenage girls in Samburu County, aged 15 to 19 years, have been pregnant at some point.

Lunyao emphasized that teenage pregnancies infringed on the girls’ fundamental rights to education and called upon stakeholders to continue mitigating the rising teenage pregnancies through the triple threat approach.

She explained that to tackle the teenage pregnancy issue, the NCPD, in partnership with the National Government Administration Officers (NGAO) and other government entities and stakeholders, is running a campaign focused on the triple threat: Teenage pregnancy, HIV, and Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

“Teenage pregnancies in Samburu County can lead to new HIV infections and early marriages, which might result in GBV. Therefore, the triple threat is a comprehensive commitment plan aimed at eradicating new HIV infections, GBV, and teenage pregnancies,” Lunyao said.

Lunyao also highlighted various demographic challenges that require significant efforts from stakeholders, noting that 53 per cent of households in Samburu County lack pit latrines, leading to a preference for open defecation.

“Eighty-six per cent of Samburu residents have no health insurance coverage, raising the dependency ratio to 108:100, which is high compared to the country’s dependency ratio of 75:100, and infant mortality stands at 38 per cent,” Lunyao noted.

The forum brought together stakeholders from government and non-government organizations involved in population issues, where the population policy sessional paper number one of 2023 was disseminated.

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