Over 100 teenagers from the age of 13 were among mothers who delivered their babies on Christmas and New Year’s Day during this festive period.
TEENAGERS DISAPPOINT OFFICIALS OVER PREGNANCIES
Health Departmental Spokesperson Foster Mohale said the Department is concerned with the high rate of teen mothers and this requires all hands on deck from government, families and other community structures to reduce school dropout which hinders formal education for many adolescent girls and young women, making them vulnerable to poverty.
“Teen pregnancy and early motherhood contribute to interruption of formal education if not definite dropout by adolescent girls as some of them struggle to strike a balance between parenting and education due to lack of supporting family structures,” he explained.
TEENS WELCOME BABIES IN KWAZULU-NATAL
The feeling was mutual in KwaZulu-Natal after officials expressed concerns about the high rate of teenage pregnancy.
“Their minds and bodies are not ready to carry a child, consequently putting their lives at risk and their children.”
According to KZN department of health, Addington Hospital in Durban was the one that welcomed the first baby boy in the new year of 2023. He weighs 3.4kg and was born in the middle of the night to a 17-year-old mother. The father of the child is 19 years old.
The youngest mother is 15 years old, and she gave birth at a hospital in Port Shepstone. The father of the child is also 15 years old.
There are also two 16-year-old mothers. One gave birth at Queen Nandi Hospital and the other gave birth at Nkandla Hospital.
TOTAL NUMBER OF BIRTHS ON NEW YEAR’S DAY
In total, the Department of Health recorded 1803 babies delivered from public health facilities throughout the country on New Year`s Day, and this translates into a 22% increase from Christmas babies.
“Parents and caregivers are urged to consider exclusive breastfeeding and ensure their babies are fully immunized to strengthen their immune system to fight childhood diseases like polio and measles,” Mohale advised.
This content was originally published here.