Home South Africa Some of the tragic stories behind the 23,000 teenage pregnancies recorded in...

Some of the tragic stories behind the 23,000 teenage pregnancies recorded in the past year

Some of the tragic stories behind the 23,000 teenage pregnancies recorded in the past year

“I determined  to support when her mother broke down and instructed me about this in June.  The child had spoken out about the rape [after it happened] and used to be taken to the doctor and the police role. She used to be given medication at the scientific institution, however we don’t know what the instruction used to be because of this of a pair of months later, her mother noticed she used to be pregnant,” mentioned Dumbisa.

According to the statistics launched by the Gauteng nicely being division though, Bonakele isn’t even amongst the youngest of the pregnant girls.

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Effectively being MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi mentioned 934 pregnancies had been recorded in early life venerable between 10 and 14, whereas 19,316 had been recorded in girls venerable between 15 and 19.

Katharine Hall of the Teenagers’s Institute at the College of Cape City mentioned it used to be possible that the number of teenage pregnancies used to be even increased than what’s reported.

“The Division of Effectively being’s district nicely being information arrangement is mainly puny to public amenities. It’s a long way doubtlessly no longer the elephantine image … I can easiest infer that the total being pregnant count supplied is a product of the number of identified pregnancies (where early life have reported to nicely being amenities) and the number of identified terminations.

“It will exclude pregnancies which may possibly well well per chance be unknown or undisclosed, miscarriages, terminations which may possibly well well per chance be no longer below the supervision of a nicely being facility or practitioner included in the count,” Hall mentioned.

In 2018, the institute performed an investigation into pregnancies of young of us and early life. Aid then, the numbers collated by the institute printed there had been 57,000 pregnancies in the province however these included of us between the ages of 15-24.

There used to be no data accessible for these younger as they had been in overall no longer considered to be of child-bearing age.

According to Stats SA, nevertheless, in 2018 there had been 1,287 births recorded nationally to mothers venerable 10-14.

The WMACA is moreover assisting another family from Alexandra whose daughter would have fallen into the age neighborhood of 10- to 14-year-olds who are now mothers.

The Alexandra family has a 14-year-customary daughter who used to be allegedly time and again raped by two neighbours on assorted instances. Her rape got here to gentle when she collapsed at faculty earlier this year as she bled.

“The two men are in their 50s,” mentioned Elizabeth Mokoena of the Alexandra Kidz Clinic.

“It seems to be love she used to be given capsules to drink to terminate the being pregnant. But when she purchased to college, she purchased sick and used to be bleeding. The mother got here, took her home and whereas they had been home, the foetus got here out,” mentioned Mokoena.

The foetus used to be kept for a pair of days and then she discarded it.

“She did no longer know that she used to be throwing the evidence away because of this of that would have ended in DNA evidence of who had raped her child,” mentioned Mokoena.

“But a case used to be opened and this can even be support in court soon,” Mokoena added. “One of the men used to be charged with rape and the other used to be charged with sexual assault. One of them is out on bail.”

These excessive being pregnant numbers have ended in questions about where and who the fathers of these early life may possibly well well nicely be.

Murombedzi mentioned whereas it used to be possible that early life had been experimenting with sexual actions, it wanted to be explored why a child as young as 10 may possibly well well per chance be uncovered to such actions.

“I extremely doubt a 10-year-customary is consenting to having sex and I stand to be corrected on this. But we must acknowledge that 12-year-olds may possibly well well nicely be having sex and even the law enables them to construct up contraceptives at that age,” Murombedzi mentioned.

“If 12-year-olds are having sex, who are they having it with? Is it other 12-, 14- or 16-year-olds? We must dissect the law around that and know when we apply statutory rape [laws].” she mentioned.

“While the law enables it, can you imagine a 12-year-customary walking into a clinic to construct up contraception and condoms? They may possibly well well per chance be ridiculed because of this of society doesn’t support early life to have sure sexual behaviour inasmuch as the law says they can,” she mentioned.

DA MP Refiloe Nt’sekhe mentioned these figures raised a lot of questions about the role of the departments of education, nicely being and social construction to educate young of us on safe sex.

“Teenage being pregnant remains a excessive social and nicely being recount in SA. It poses a nicely being menace to both mother and child, and it moreover has social consequences reminiscent of continuing the cycle of poverty and early faculty dropout,” she mentioned.

She known as for the departments of education and social construction to be certain that consciousness campaigns had been prioritised and speed all year round.

In the interim, Prof Ramodungoane Tabane from Unisa’s psychology of education division mentioned it used to be worrying that despite the sexual education that used to be happening in faculties, such excessive teenage being pregnant numbers had been aloof being seen.

“What’s being taught at faculties is no longer being practised and it would possibly well per chance moreover be landing on the laps of of us that we allowed the faculties to be doing more of the parenting in terms of such points of sex education,” mentioned Tabane.

In her parliamentary response, Mokgethi may possibly well well no longer whine whether any arrests emanated from the pregnancies of minors (statutory rape), saying easiest that the information used to be peaceable and conveyed to the social construction division and the police.

The police moreover may possibly well well no longer instantly whine how many statutory rape arrests had been opened with them during the duration below evaluation, saying easiest that they labeled their rape circumstances according to gender and never basically age.

Tabane instructed that either manner, it used to be the victims who fell pregnant who bore the greatest brunt, rather than the father.

“Childhood being pregnant derails a girl child,” Tabane mentioned.

“That girl may possibly well well maintain at home and never return to college … They maintain home to raise care of their early life and after a year, in point of fact feel they have been left behind and may possibly well well no longer desire to trip support to college. Therefore, the vicious cycle of the girl child no longer entering the academic market or job market broadens and widens. That boy child has a possibility of going support to college. He’s no longer the one which ‘carries’ that being pregnant into faculty,” Tabane added.

While these pregnancies had been reported at a time when the lockdown used to be below manner, with the schooling calendar being disrupted, Tabane mentioned this did no longer basically imply that Covid-19 used to be in price however presumably a lack of supervision.

Tabane mentioned the fathers of the early life had been often associated to the mother.

“We must no longer afraid a long way from the incontrovertible fact that in some instances, it is miles early life who’ve  sexual intercourse child-to-child and all americans knows the points as nicely of statutory rape. In some instances, it is miles incest, cousins, brothers and all that,” he mentioned.

Murombedzi says the recount is multifaceted.

“We can’t whine the law is failing, however the of us which may possibly well well per chance be applying the law love a nicely being professional who knows that a 12-year-customary can come in and accumulate contraceptives. They have an obligation to train and instruct that child on how to make expend of that contraceptive,” Murombedzi mentioned.

“We moreover must stare at the emotional aspect where presumably a child is lacking esteem from home and finds it in the irascible, older person and at that point, they may possibly well well in point of fact feel they must particular their affection and accumulate affection as nicely thru a sexual relationship,” she added.

*Kedibone is 17. She is a pupil at a Alexandra faculty and has no longer but long gone support to college this year after she gave delivery in March.

“It’s demanding being a mother. I believed I could possibly well well construct both however I am no longer willing or presumably I need to whine I am aloof trying to stare systems to both,” Kedibone mentioned.

The grade 11 pupil says her daughter used to be no longer planned.

“I was taking prevention however final year, I uncared for going to the clinic for my capsules and I kept on saying, I could trip, however in the finish, this took space. But I don’t regret it because of this of they whine early life are blessings,” she mentioned.

The father of Kedibone’s child is 26 and does unfamiliar jobs after losing his trusty job during the Covid-19 lockdown final year.

“But he helps me and the child, so I am glad,” she mentioned.

Kedibone mentioned it used to be too soon to recount whether she may possibly well well per chance be going support to college subsequent year or presumably she would gain but another gap year to detect her daughter grow.

*No longer their precise names

TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)

Naledi Shange

Some of the tragic stories behind the 23,000 teenage pregnancies recorded in the past year