Teenage pregnancy proves to be on the increase in Kpetema, a village some 21 kilometers to Mattru Jong. This was evident when a team of Awoko reporters visited the territory recently and saw a number of pregnant girls roughly around 15years old.
Speaking to one of the pregnant teenagers, who is a class 6 dropout she stated that life has been very difficult fort her since she became pregnant and that she only gets her daily bread by doing petty trading along the street leading to Mattru Jong. She disclosed that she became pregnant whilst trying to attend to her impoverished condition since her parents are not financially strong enough to take care of her welfare. She frustratingly stated that there is no adequate medical facility(s) at their disposal for maternal care.
She disclosed that her husband is a community youth who provides their means of survival by embarking on community labor programmes like farm brushing and digging of gutters along feeder roads. “Because of this tedious community labour, her husband does not even have time for her since he spends most of his days brushing and digging and comes home in the late hours. It is not really an easy situation” she lamented.
Another teenager who said she was nine months pregnant disclosed that she was impregnated by a secondary school pupil while in class 5, and the parents could do nothing but to hand her over to him. Presently the boy has equally dropped out of school and is now engaged in menial jobs to cater for both of them.
Questioned on how she accesses medical facilities, she said there is no proper medical care in all the community villages; as a result they rely on local herbs to cure maternal problems.
Mohamed Koroma, an inhabitant of the village who identified himself as a member of the community youth group stated that the parents are in most cases responsible for their daughters’ predicament. Most of them, he said voluntarily give up their girls to men for fear of responsibilities. He cited an instance recently when a certain father forcefully handed over his daughter whom he said was about 14 years old to a community trader, adding that similar situations are happening in the surrounding villages unabated. He directly pointed out that local authorities around them look at the prevailing condition with blithe disregard.
However efforts to reach the town chief or any other appropriate authority ended in fiasco since all of them, we were made to understand went either to their farm bushes or to the other villages on administrative purposes. By Poindexter Sama