DECLINE: Teenage pregnancy in the two Kavango regions has declined.
DECLINE: Teenage pregnancy in the two Kavango regions has declined.

Kavango regions: Teen pregnancy drops by 34%

Kenya Kambowe
Over the years, the two Kavango regions have recorded some of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country, but recent statistics have shown a decline.

At least 1 011 learners in the Kavango East and Kavango West regions fell pregnant in 2022, which equates to a 34% decrease when compared to 2021’s 1 538.

These figures were provided by the education directorates in the two regions, who said the decline is the result of various interventions.

Last year, Namibian Sun reported that 860 learners in Kavango East fell pregnant in 2021. When contacted for the 2022 figure, education director Fanuel Kapapero revealed that the number dropped to 521.

He said a number of programmes were implemented which saw the figure dropping significantly.

“What led to the reduction is that we established health clubs at schools, we had sensitisation meetings with learners as well community mobilisations,” Kapapero said.

“The involvement of other stakeholders such as Dreams and Project Hope also played a role.”

Collaboration and coordination

In Kavango West, at least 678 learners fell pregnant in 2021, with the figure dropping to 490 in 2022.

According to education director Pontianus Musore, the region implemented a number of interventions such as integrated school health programmes.

He added that collaboration and coordination with stakeholders from a regional school health task force – aimed at addressing social challenges facing learners – has paid great dividends as well.

“We established the life skills-based training, which [boasts the inclusion] of school principals, life skills teachers and social workers. This created a very clear platform for a referral system.

“There is also the Life Skills Day initiative where many schools have started organising events where parents and learners from grade four are the main targets, and they involve stakeholders as presenters on different topics,” he said.

Community engagements

“Learners are engaged separately by gender and we encouraged the usage of the local language, Rukwangali, when we are engaging learners and parents,” Musore said.

“We also had community engagements where we reached out to parents and involved them by discussing issues affecting learners.

“There is also an outreach programme which engages hostel learners on Saturdays to discuss social challenges they are facing,” he said.

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Namibian Sun 2023-03-30

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