Teenage, Underage Pregnancy Spikes in Kenya

Young women in Kenya need the fellowship of the church and the hope of Christ. (Photo courtesy of Kenya Hope)

Kenya considers 2020 to be a “lost” school year. But pregnant teenage girls in the country stand to lose much more than that.

Underage pregnancy has been a problem in Kenya for a long time, but COVID-19 has inflated the numbers. Vincent Michael of FMI says the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic (along with locust swarms and the flooding of Lake Victoria) has led a lot of teen girls into isolation and desperation.

“The girls end up resorting to transactional sex,” Michael says. “This is causing a spike. It’s increased by 100%, double the normal amount of teen pregnancies in western Kisumu County.”

In Kenya, girls under 18 cannot legally consent to sexual activity, so most of these pregnancies came from sexual assault. However, all of the consequences will fall on the girls themselves. Michael says, “Ninety-eight percent of the girls that get pregnant while they’re still teenagers will not return and finish their education. It’s going to put them at it at a huge disadvantage, that’s going to then domino effect into longer-term consequences. They will be more dependent upon marriages that may not be healthy.”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller

CALL TO ACTION

  • Pray these teens in Kenya would get the care and education they need.
  • Ask God to bring many people to Himself through the witness of Christians caring about women’s health.
  • Pray that churches in Kenya can start meeting again soon.