Teenage pregnancy rate drops sharply in Rukwa

THE teenage pregnancy rate in Nkasi District in Rukwa Region has dropped significantly in the past three months, thanks to cooperation between the government and some nongovernmental organisations to solve the problem.

The NGOs include Plan International Tanzania working together with Jhpiego and Africare funded by the Canadian government and Grace Community Development Education (GCDE) financed by the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS).

Latest statistics show that 551 students dropped out of school in Rukwa Region between 2017 and August 2019 after being impregnated.

Nkasi District Council Executive Director (DED) Missana Kwangula said since January to March this year the number of pregnant students had dropped from nine students to one per month.

Mr Kwangula said this after handing over a wheelchair to a lady living with a disability, Ms Mary Denis, in Namanyere Township yesterday.

The wheelchair, donated by GCDE, is among the 16 wheelchairs that will be given to people living with disabilities (PLWDs) in Rukwa Region.

“Our district had an alarming rate of early pregnancy, but now the story is quite different as only one case has been recorded each month from January to March this year.”

The success story has been made possible due to concerted effort made by two NGOs Plan International Tanzania and GCDE for reaching and sensitising members of the public on the vice.

"The police have also played an active part by taking the culprits to court,” explained the DED.

He further explained that even district ward councillors during their full council meeting discussed the best ways of finding a permanent solution to the problem.

“The big challenge was with ward and village executive officers bent on solving early pregnancy cases outside a court room,” added the DED.

For her part, Ms Denis expressed gratitude to GCDE for the donation, assuring that she would take care of the property because it is an integral part of her human organs. GCDE Executive Director Baptiser Mbwana said the wheelchair was worth over 700,000/-.

Author: SUNDAY NEWS Reporter in Nkasi

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