The ministry of health in April revealed that between January and February this year, they handled 45,724 cases of pregnant adolescents aged between 10 to 19 years. Health Permanent Secretary Susan Mochache said that in 2021, of all antenatal care attendances, 21% were adolescent mothers aged 10-19 years old.
She also said that 2,196 cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) were registered among those aged 12 and 17 years.
The CS added that in 2021, the ministry received 12,520 cases of SGBV and were able to provide HIV preventive services to 4,664 young survivors. But unfortunately, 53 of the survivors had already contracted HIV.
HIV rates among adolescnts
Mochache further disclosed that every week, 98 girls aged between 10 and 19 years are infected with HIV due to SGBV.
Mochache also said there had been a drop of HIV infections from 343 recorded among adolescent girls in 2015 to 98 per week, a 71% decrease in HIV infections.
“For adolescent girls, in 2015, every week, more than 343 girls aged 10-19 were newly infected with HIV. In 2021 these numbers albeit still high had been reduced by 71 percent to about 98 cases in a week,” said Mochache.
Mochache said between 2013 and 2021, HIV programme has yielded a 67% decline in annual AIDS-related deaths.
“This encouraging performance reflects an increase of 83 percent in the number of people living with HIV that are on life-saving anti-retro-viral treatment, from 600,000 people in 2013 to 1.2 million people in 2021,” said Mochache.
CS Matiang’i said that County commissioners must ensure that perpetrators of teenage pregnancies and Gender-Based Violence face the full force of the law and ensure that any girl who gets pregnant goes back to school.
He added that the Commissioners must promote a culture of reporting sexual violence against children and GBV cases within communities while encouraging community dialogues to identify community-centered solutions to the Triple Threats-discrimination, stigma and violence.
What else do you think an be done to reduce teenage pregnancies and high rates of HIV infecton?