Teenagers in the eastern district of Balaka are failing to heed warnings about under-age sex, leading to soaring numbers of unplanned pregnancies,District Youth Officer (DYO) for Balaka, Godfrey Mpinganjira has said .
He disclosed this in an interview on Thursday on the sidelines of a stakeholders meeting organized by Network of Services for Everyone (ONSE) at the Boma where it introduced a five year project aimed at imparting knowledge on family planning services to girls.
Mpinganjira pointed out that, “Teenage pregnancies are on the increase in Balaka especially in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Kalembo. This is leading to early marriages which force them to drop out of school.”
The DYO emphasized the need for organization to create an environment where girls have access to family planning contraceptives to contain the situation.
Zonal Clinical Officer for ONSE, Collins Nkhulanze said the project is designed to bridge knowledge gap on issues of family planning among girls in communities.
“We want to make sure that girls have children by choice and not by chance and in this program we will conduct awareness campaigns across the district on family planning,” he said adding that the project is targeting girls of ten to 35 years age bracket.
“We hope the project will instill confidence in the youth to excel with their education,” Nkhulanze hoped.
Many fear young people are now experimenting with adult relationships even earlier than before.