Sixteen and pregnant

04 March 2019 | Social Issues

Namibian Sun caught up with Anna Kastoor (not her real name) at Kalkrand. She left school when she was in Grade 7 because her family was struggling without a breadwinner but, instead of earning a living, she found herself pregnant and with an even bleaker future.

Kastoor is one of many girls at Kalkrand who have had to make hard decisions because their parents struggle due to the high unemployment rate that plagues the Hardap Region.

“We live with my mom, who is sickly and unemployed. No one in my family is working so I was forced to find a job. I left school in grade 7 and went to Windhoek to look after people's children. But that did not work out so I returned,” she said.

So right now she is at home and “zulas” with her mother and siblings.

Kastoor is turning 17 this year. The father of her unborn baby is 21 and has no fixed income.

“We are still together and he supports me. It is impossible to find a job at Kalkrand,” she said.

Her dream of becoming a schoolteacher is now down the drain, she quipped.

“I have younger siblings and my mother is sickly so I will have to look after my own child as well,” she says.

The only glimmer of hope is the prospect that her mother will soon qualify for a state pension.

“For now I am just here, waiting until the baby arrives,” she said.

Kastoor lives with her mother and siblings in a two-room shack in Kalkrand's informal settlement called Papegaaistraat.

A local pastor, who did not want to be identified, said it was shocking that neither the police nor the nurses could see something was wrong when an underage girl reported for pre-natal check-ups.

“Is it not the responsibility of the nurse to ask the child who impregnated her and then report it to the police?” he questioned.

He directed Namibian Sun to three homes where underage pregnant girls live, but they were either not at home or the families refused to talk. Underage pregnancy is all too common in the area.

In 2017, Namibian Sun reported that about 20% of the 681 pregnant women in the Rehoboth district were children.

According to confidential reports in Namibian Sun's possession, at that time, 124 of that figure were girls between 15 and 19 while seven were girls younger than 15.

The report also states that seven girls under the age of 15 fell pregnant in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively, while only four were recorded in 2016.

In 2016, a total of 29 girls younger than 15 went to clinics to seek family-planning services, seven in 2015, two in 2014 and three in 2015.

The report noted that the problem is of such magnitude that nurses in the district are compelled to dispense contraceptives to 14-year-old girls without their parents' consent.

It also indicated that five of 379 teenagers aged between 15 and 19 tested positive for HIV between January and August that year.

Between January and December 2016 a total of nine teenagers in the same age group tested positive for HIV, ten in 2015 and eight in 2014.

Staff at the clinics in the district told Namibian Sun that these figures were but a drop in the ocean, as many did not report for antenatal care or HIV testing.


Similar News


Hopeless, destitute

1 month - 14 June 2019 | Social Issues

A family of five at Kayeura village in the Musese constituency of Kavango East are living amid hopelessness in a makeshift structure made of pieces...

‘Just hunt for another woman’

1 month - 12 June 2019 | Social Issues

KENYA KAMBOWE Gender affairs minister Doreen Sioka has urged men to find another partner when their relationships go...

Alcohol linked to high suicide rate

1 month - 29 May 2019 | Social Issues

Namibia has once again been fingered as one of the African countries with the highest per capita alcohol consumption, which could also explain its high...

Deadbeat dads

1 month - 21 May 2019 | Social Issues

Although Namibian law holds both parents equally responsible for meeting the basic needs of their children, nearly half of households are run by single mothers,...

Confusion over shack baby

2 months ago - 15 May 2019 | Social Issues

The mother of a three-month-old baby girl who the City Police confirmed had died at the end of April after she and her three young...

Blaauw makes a difference

2 months ago - 14 May 2019 | Social Issues

Mariselle Stofberg and Michelline NawatisesTylo Blaauw has raised funds to have an air conditioner installed at an old-age home and also handed over a cheque...

Our grim suicide reality

3 months ago - 04 April 2019 | Social Issues

An estimated 25 000 Namibians attempted suicide in 2015, while 2 331 Namibians died by suicide between 2011 and 2015. The high number of...

No bed, no food, only God's grace

3 months ago - 02 April 2019 | Social Issues

With no bed to sleep on, no food to eat and a mahangu field that is likely to yield no harvest this year, an elderly...

Women should aim for presidency - Geingos

4 months ago - 11 March 2019 | Social Issues

First Lady Monica Geingos has told women that they must aim to become president instead of first lady.Geingos was speaking during an interview with the...

Sixteen and pregnant

4 months ago - 04 March 2019 | Social Issues

Namibian Sun caught up with Anna Kastoor (not her real name) at Kalkrand. She left school when she was in Grade 7 because her family...

Latest News

Keeping up with the neighbours

3 hours ago | Economics

LuandaYou would need around US$2 535.97 in Windhoek to maintain the same standard of living that you can have with US$7 600 in Luanda, assuming...

88 schoolgirls fall pregnant in...

3 hours ago | Education

Eighty-eight learners, including two girls in Grade 7, fell pregnant in the Oshana Region during the first term of 2019. Oshana governor Elia Irimari...

Stop blaming Aawambo - Kapofi

3 hours ago | Government

Home affairs minister Frans Kapofi has cautioned against tribalism and pointed out that there is a growing perception that only the Aawambo are beneficiaries of...

Mom begs for mercy

3 hours ago | Justice

A mother of three minor children is asking the High Court to reduce her four-year prison sentence, or fine her instead, after she pleaded guilty...

Relevant IFRS themes: Anytime, anywhere

3 hours ago | Business

A good understanding of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is crucial to the financial reporting process of IFRS reporters. Banks and Insurers in particular have...

Standard Bank faces strike vote

3 hours ago | Labour

ELVIRA HATTINGH Members of the Bank Workers Union of Namibia (Bawon) are to vote on whether to strike...

Let us tread carefully

3 hours ago | Opinion

When expectations are not met, citizens wronged in this regard should have channels, means and ways to air their grievances and have them addressed effectively.In...

Big banks target South Africa's...

3 hours ago | Business

Emma Rumney - South Africa's biggest banks are betting cut-price accounts, big mortgages and offers on everything from Adidas backpacks to Xboxes will help them...

Zim inflation almost doubles, stirring...

3 hours ago | Economics

MacDonald Dzirutwe and Karin Strohecker - Prices of cooking oil and other basics soared in Zimbabwe as inflation nearly doubled in June, piling pressure on...

Load More