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Kwania Leaders Concerned Girls Could Drop Out of School

According to statistics from January to December 2020 from the office of the District Community Development Officer, 2,908 girls below 17 years visited a hospital for antenatal care since the closure of schools in March.
About 2,908 girls below 17 years in Kwania impregnated since Coronavirus pandemic forced schools shut in March File Photo

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Kwania District leaders are worried that half of the female students in the district may not resume school due to pregnancy.

Last week, the government announced the reopening of schools a year after they were closed following the outbreak of covid-19.

However, in Kwania, the leaders have raised concern that about 2,908 learners may not return to school.

According to statistics from January to December 2020 from the office of the District Community Development Officer, 2,908 girls below 17 years visited a hospital for antenatal care since the closure of schools in March.

Out of 2,908 cases of teenage pregnancy, Aduku Town Council registered 599, Chawente Sub County 578, Abongomola 563, Nambieso 553, Inomo 423 and Aduku Sub County registered 192.

Leonard Agum, the district Community Development Officer says the cases of child marriages and teenage pregnancies have skyrocketed.

“We had to liaise with hospitals and private clinics to collect the data of children under the age of 19 who had come for their first antenatal visit. What we found is worrying. I don’t know if schools will have female students when they resume operations,” he said.

Research has shown that fear of retribution from the local community has kept most cases of teenage pregnancies and early marriages under reported as police officers fear making arrests and hospitals fear reporting accurate statistics.

Annet Atim, the Secretary Community based services at Kwania district local government says in Lango most parents still view girls commercially as bride price, which has undermined the district’s best effort to curb teenage pregnancies and early marriages.

Moses Opio, the Kwania District Probation Officer attributed the increase of these cases to the negligence of parents whom he said have failed to closely monitor their children.

He asked the public to always report the perpetrators of child rights abuses to police and also tasked parents to take up the responsibility of guiding and nurturing their children.

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