By Kaya 959 Reporter
Gauteng Health MEC, Nomathemba Mokgethi, has revealed that girls as young as 10 gave birth between April 2020 and March 2021.
Answering a question put forward by the DA in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature, Mokgethi said 934 babies were delivered by girls between the ages of 10 to 14 years.
More than 19 000 babies were delivered by girls between the ages of 15 to 19 years, while 2 976 girls between the ages of 10 and 19 years did a Choice on Termination of Pregnancy.
“In total there were 23 226 teenage pregnancies in Gauteng from April 2020 to March 2021,” she said.
The DA’s Refiloe Nt’sekhe called on the province’s departments of Education, Social Development and Health to work together to set up teen pregnancy and sex education campaigns to conscientise teenagers.
“Teenage pregnancy impacts negatively on educational opportunities for young girls, especially those without the proper support and help, and are less likely to finish high school and pursue a career to support their families,” Nt’sekhe said.
She said the campaigns against teen pregnancy need to take place 365 days a year and make teen pregnancy prevention a priority across all schools.
Nt’sekhe urged parents and guardians to work with government departments to help curb teen pregnancies, which are a societal issue affecting young girls.
“As for girls who are under the age of consent, they should also be taught their rights in this regard and to know, at no point, is anyone allowed to force themselves onto them.
“The future of our girls can be saved through behaviour change with the correct knowledge and guidance provided by the provincial government,” she said.
Mokgethi said there were no statistics collected by the Department of Health with specific regards to statutory rape.
She added that cases of statutory rape are reported by healthcare social workers at healthcare facilities by the Department of Social Development.