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21st January 2019

Teenage Pregnancy on the Rise in Sierra Leone as SLPP Urged to Curb the Stigma!

By Allieu B. Kamara (11/01/19)

The SLPP govt of President Julius Maada Bio has to deal with this rising chronic social problem as teenage pregnancy escalates nationwide.

 

According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, there are 34% of teenagers between ages of 15-19 years from the rural areas who are on uncontrolled childbearing spree as against 19% in the urban areas. (Photo: Social Welfare Minister Baindu Dassama needs to buckle up to minimise the rise of teenage pregnancy in the country).

Citizens across the country are registering their shock and dismay with regards to the current menace and hoping that the SLPP government and other stakeholders would nip this problem in the bud as soon as possible.

Since the end of the bloody civil war (1991-2002), teenage pregnancy has not deminished as many depraved broken families could not provide the basics for their teenage daughters who eventually end up on the streets as prostitutes to make ends meet. The present economic mess continues to worsen their plights.

The present rise in the pregnancy rate among our teenage daughters and sisters has coincided incidentally with the just ended 'Hands of Our Girls' campaign in Freetown attended by six African First Ladies including Sierra Leone's First Lady Fatima Jabbe Bio.

It was agreed that subjecting the girl child to any form of sexual harassment and abuse must be a thing of the past in Africa. But observers are worried that teenage pregnancy in Sierra Leone would not dissipate as quickly as it should if resources and competent manpower are not put in place now.

For the 'Hands Off Our Girls' campaign led by Fatima Bio to succeed, this present menace must be in the forefront of her agenda in 2019. Proper mechanisms should be instituted to make sure facilities for depraved girls are affordble and a judicial process must be seen doing the right i.e. dishing out justice against female molesters.

Most Sierra Leonean parents within those stipulated areas are expressing serious concerns over the infinite demands of their girls for material things, especially those falling within the above mentioned age brackets.

They are reiterating that it is as a result of that lack of content, among other serious economic and social issues, that are responsible for teenage girls going astray and becoming child bearers at very tender ages. Sierra Leoneans are calling on the government to do more to curb the menace.

Courtesy: By Allieu Badara Kamara: Sierra Express Media www.sierraexpressmedia.com

TRIBUTE: Alpha Shaw

Journalist, Student Activist, Leader, 1958-1980

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