Teenage Mum Dumps Baby In Toilet
10 June 2023
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By Dorrothy Moyo | A fourth-form student in Filabusi gave birth and dumped the child in a pit latrine.

The infant was retrieved, but regrettably passed away en route to the hospital, according to the Police’s Twitter account. The incident had place in the province of Matabeleland South’s Filabusi.

“Police in Filabusi are investigating a case of concealing birth which occurred at a secondary school on 07/06/23. A Form 4 student gave birth to a baby in the toilet before dumping it into the pit.

The baby died on the way to the clinic after being retrieved from the pit latrine alive.”

Teenage pregnancy is a significant social issue that can have long-lasting effects on the lives of young girls. In Zimbabwe, like many other countries, adolescent pregnancy remains a concern, impacting the well-being of individuals, families, and communities. Factors contributing to teenage pregnancy in Zimbabwe are varied.

Socio-Cultural Factors:

Early Marriage: In Zimbabwe, cultural norms and traditional practices, particularly in rural areas, often encourage early marriage. Girls are sometimes married off at a young age, making them vulnerable to early pregnancies.

Gender Inequality: Gender inequalities persist in Zimbabwe, limiting educational opportunities for girls. This lack of access to education increases their vulnerability to early pregnancies as they may lack the knowledge and resources to prevent them.

Education and Awareness:

Limited Comprehensive Sexuality Education: The availability of comprehensive sexuality education in Zimbabwe is limited, leaving many teenagers uninformed about reproductive health and contraception. The lack of knowledge contributes to unplanned pregnancies.

Stigma Surrounding Contraception: Some communities in Zimbabwe hold negative attitudes toward contraceptive use, leading to limited access and usage among teenagers. This lack of awareness and availability increases the chances of teenage girls getting pregnant.

Socio-Economic Factors:
1. Poverty: Economic hardship and poverty often lead to limited access to healthcare, including reproductive health services. Teenagers from low-income backgrounds may lack resources such as contraception and proper healthcare, increasing their vulnerability to pregnancy.
2. Limited Economic Opportunities: Limited job prospects for young people, particularly in rural areas, can result in teenage girls having limited aspirations for their future. This lack of economic opportunity may contribute to early motherhood as an alternative path.

Healthcare Services:
1. Inadequate Reproductive Healthcare: Access to quality reproductive healthcare services, including contraceptives and antenatal care, remains a challenge in Zimbabwe. The limited availability of these services reduces the chances for teenage girls to prevent or manage pregnancies effectively.
2. Teen-Friendly Healthcare Services: Establishing adolescent-friendly healthcare services, where young people can access confidential and non-judgmental care, can improve reproductive health outcomes. Creating safe spaces for teenagers to seek guidance and support can help reduce teenage pregnancies.

Prevention and Intervention Strategies:
1. Comprehensive Sexuality Education: Expanding comprehensive sexuality education programs in schools and communities can equip teenagers with accurate information about sexual and reproductive health, empowering them to make informed decisions and prevent unplanned pregnancies.
2. Engaging Community Leaders: Collaborating with community leaders, religious institutions, and traditional authorities can help challenge harmful cultural norms, promote gender equality, and address misconceptions surrounding contraception.

Youth Empowerment and Economic Opportunities: Creating economic opportunities for young people can empower teenage girls and provide them with alternatives to early parenthood. Promoting vocational training, entrepreneurship, and job creation can improve their socio-economic prospects.

Addressing the issue of teenage pregnancies in Zimbabwe requires a multi-faceted approach that considers socio-cultural factors, education, healthcare services, and socio-economic conditions. By implementing comprehensive sexuality education, improving access to reproductive healthcare, challenging harmful cultural norms, and promoting economic opportunities, Zimbabwe can work towards reducing the chances of teenage girls getting pregnant, ultimately empowering young girls to lead fulfilling lives and contribute positively to society.