Timing is Everything

13 September 2019 | Health

Naango Kainge

Aren't we tired of hearing about Teenage Pregnancy? Unfortunately, we are going to continue hearing about it for pregnancies among school going children is still happening. According to statistics in 2013, 46 000 teenage girls fell pregnant which is equivalent to 127 pregnancies per day! To me this was quite alarming but what was even more alarming was that 39% of the total girls that fell pregnant were under the age of 15! Currently Namibia is continuing to battle with this social problem.

One of the main reasons of teenage pregnancies, in Namibia, is the exposure learners have to sexual activities. Be it in their homes or through social media, teenagers grow up assuming that sex at a young age is okay, when it's not. I believe that sex should only be practiced at an older age where you are likely to be more responsible and mature enough to take care of a child.

Another reason for teenage pregnancies is sex education. Many girls, especially in the rural areas where there is a higher pregnancy rate, are not educated on sex. With that, together with the exposure to sexual acts, they could fall pregnant. Furthermore there is a trend of many young girls engaging in sexual activities with older men, known as sugar daddies, blessers, and older boyfriends.

Where sex education is available mainly in the urban areas, pregnancies still occur. Why? Let's be honest, as young people we are quite stubborn and assume we know a lot when in truth we don't. We need to learn to listen and understand the consequences of having a baby at a young age. It doesn't only cause health issues, one could also experience emotional strain. Although there is a policy that allows teenage mothers to continue going to school until four weeks before birth and they are allowed to come back to school, I feel as though the policy somehow encourages learners to fall pregnant without being concerned.

Teenage mother's bodies are not mature enough and can cause health issues such as: premature birth, high blood pressure and cephalopelvic disproportion, where the pelvis is too small for the babies head. In addition, there are quite a number of mental issues that pregnant teens go through. According to a healthline article, young mothers can experience stress from sleepless nights, arranging child care and finishing high school. It also listed that young mothers can have panic attacks as well as postmortem depression and anxiety.

In all, one should think about the babies future. Especially about bringing a child into this world too early. I think as learners we should not think about relationships, boyfriends, girlfriends and sex. Right now our focus should be on our studies and our future and then later on, when we are mature and grown, we can think about having children. Let us enjoy being young in a safe manner and not try to be adults while we're teenagers, timing is everything.

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