The City of Tshwane is urging young people to refrain from dangerous sexual behaviour, citing the high and alarming number of adolescent pregnancies in the city. Between July 2019 and June 2021, the City had 9 922 teenage deliveries, with 674 girls aged 10 to 14 giving birth and another 9 248 females aged 15 to 19 giving birth. According to Rina Marx, MMC for Health, Tshwane public health facilities have recorded nearly 10,000 teenage deliveries in the last three years. “This figure reflects the metro’s alarmingly high rate of teenage pregnancies,” Marx said.
Parent Duduzile Mbuli said “it is very disappointing seeing teenage girls in their uniforms with huge bumps, that is expected from young adults who are independent. Something needs to be done and quickly that is, because sex education is given to these kids, but the number of teenage pregnancies keeps on rising.’’ This motivated campaigners and politicians to push for more health and sex education for young people in order to prevent adolescent pregnancy and infections.
“The City of Tshwane wants to encourage young people to avoid dangerous behaviour that could lead to unintended or early pregnancies. Sexual activity throughout adolescence significantly raises the risk of developing and spreading sexually transmitted diseases like HIV. “Teenagers and their parents, according to Marx, should go to municipal clinics for services such as pertinent information about teenage pregnancy, options for possible termination of pregnancy, and contraception options.
The facilities also provide health promotion leaflets that are available in various languages. They also offer free contraceptives. They offer regular “happy hour” sessions between 2 and 3 p.m., during which teens are given priority in receiving health treatments and advice. “Now is the moment for all of us, including parents, teachers, church leaders, and the general public, to take bold action to assist our future leaders in making educated and responsible decisions,” said Marx.
By: Palesa Maneli.