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South Africa Teen Pregnancy Surges As Pandemic Lockdowns Continue

TEEN PREGNANCY SURGES – As quarantine protocols stricken in South Africa due to the pandemic, teenage pregnancies surge.

According to the Save the Children organization, this was due to young girls not getting access to contraceptives during lockdowns. Furthermore, the org cited statistics of the number of children born to mothers in South Africa’s most densely populated province, Gauteng.

Based on the numbers, teenage pregnancy in the province grew by at least 60%. Furthermore, 930 of those mothers were younger than 14 years old.

Teen Pregnancy Surges Amid Pandemic In South Africa

Meanwhile, due to overwhelmed clinics, school closures, and stay-at-home protocols, teenagers have not gotten access to reproductive health services. But now, more than 23,000 girls who were younger than 18 have given birth between April 2020 and March 2021.

Due to this issue, the Save the Children national manager on health and nutrition, Marumo Sekgobela said:

“The global pandemic risks being a time of irreversible setbacks and lost progress for girls

In South Africa, teenage mothers are oftentimes shunned by the public and forced to drop out of school. Furthermore, most are then forced into early marriage.

Sadly, the babies of most of these mothers have a low survival rate. Additionally, these babies are likely to be neglected based on a study of the country’s social and economic costs of “human consequence”.

Currently, over P15 million people live within the Gauteng province. With this many residents, the province holds a quarter of South Africa’s population.

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