South Africa’s Gauteng Health Department has recorded more than 23,000 teenage pregnancies between April 2020 and March 2021.
According to the Gauteng Health Member of the Executive Council (MEC)Nomathemba Mokgethi, 934 of the girls were between 10 and 14 years, raising more questions about teenage pregnancies.
It was further revealed that 2,976 girls between the ages of 10 and 19 decided to terminate their pregnancies.
"These numbers are sad and incredibly troubling considering that these are young girls still have bright futures ahead of them. Teenage pregnancy remains a serious social and health problem in South Africa. It poses a health risk to both mother and child, and it also has social consequences such as continuing the cycle of poverty and early school dropout," said the DA in a statement.
The statement further revealed that 934 babies were delivered by girls between the ages of 10 and 14, while over 19,000 were delivered by those between the ages of 15 and 19.
The department did not have the profile of the fathers to these fathers but a few cases of statutory rape were recorded.
“There are no statistics collected specifically on statutory rape by the department of health. The cases are reported to SAPS and arrests remain their mandate,” Mokgethi said.
Mokgethi has called on the Gauteng departments of Social Development, Education, and Health to intensify their campaigns to prevent teenage pregnancy.
“Teenage pregnancy remains a serious social and health problem in SA. It poses a health risk to both mother and child and it also has social consequences such as continuing the cycle of poverty and early school dropout,” she said.