Thyolo District Hospital recorded 2,085 teenage pregnancies from March to June this year.
This was disclosed on Thursday at Matapwata CCAP in the area of Senior Chief Chimalilo, during an interface meeting where Blantyre Synod under Nzatonse project engaged parents and youth representatives, members of Area Development Committee (ADC), Police and an official from social welfare to tackle issues pertaining to teenage pregnancies, child marriages and gender based violence among the youth.
District coordinator for Youth Friendly Health Services at Thyolo Hospital, Steven Dimba, said teenage pregnancies have increased at an alarming rate this year compared to last year.
“From March-June 2020, Thyolo district hospital has recorded two thousand and eighty five (2085) cases of teenage pregnancies which is higher as compared to last year’s same reporting period of March-June 2019 as we recorded nine hundred and seventy (970) cases of teenage pregnancies,” said Dimba.
He added that the health office in Thyolo is deeply concerned hence it is good that Blantyre Synod through Nzatonse project engaged community leaders and other government departments to discuss the issue.
“We are working in coordination with Blantyre Synod on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR). And some of the parameters we are looking into is to eradicate teenage pregnancies and child marriages as well as sexual gender based violence through different approach,” Dimba added.
He then urged girls and young women to abstain from sexual activities but if they fail to control themselves, they should opt for contraceptive methods to avoid pregnancy in order for them to complete their education without disturbances.
In her remarks, Nzatonse project officer, Thocco Banda, encouraged chiefs and other community leaders to use bylaws established by government in order to end teenage pregnancies, child marriages and sexual gender based violence.
Commenting on the matter, Senior Chief Chimaliro said bylaws are being enforced and as Senior Chief he has been holding meetings with chiefs in his area so that early pregnancies and child marriages as well as sexual gender based violence should completely come to an end.
However, he warned abiding by such bylaws will be penalized.