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Parents, guardians and schools need to do something about teenage pregnancy. I am worried because it seems young girls are not taking birth control or precautionary measures seriously. Teenage pregnancy reached its peak during the COVID-19 lockdown, where it was reported that at least 30 pupils from one secondary school, mostly Form III pupils fell pregnant. It was also reported that an 18-year-old pupil from one school gave birth to a baby boy and the father was also a pupil.


While lack of parental guidance and substance abuse contribute a lot to the high rate of teen pregnancy,  blessers also contribute much to this societal ill. Blessers must stop dishing out money to these teenagers. They are destroying their (young girls) future. Parents and guardians need to play a role in educating the youth on the importance of contraceptives. We must take collective responsibility to educate and raise awareness inside and outside school to prevent this situation from becoming a norm in schools around Eswatini. The problem of teenage pregnancy is not new, but it is getting worse and creates problems today and in   future.


The solutions should not only come from one side of society, but a collective effort from everyone. Government alone cannot eradicate this problem. Local communities and mostly parents must play their role.If parents seem to be failing, society should address this issue and not point fingers.
The root cause of the teenage pregnancy in Eswatini is the disregard and neglect of parental duties by society. We see girls having relationships with older men and we keep quiet as community members, yet  we should be condemning such acts. While some are impregnated by their peers, we cannot overlook that there are heartless men out there who take advantage of the girls who are from poor backgrounds. Community leaders, faith-based organisations, schools and others must come together to educate girls about the dangers of having sex at a young age.


If a man sleeps with a minor, families should involve law enforcement officers, as this is statutory rape. I urge men to lead by example and  never date young girls. It is critical that parents teach their girls how to prevent falling pregnant and to say no to unprotected sex. The children resulting from these unplanned pregnancies are at risk as they will either grow up in poverty or add an extra burden to government. The economy will be affected as government will have to look after them.

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