Let’s unite in combating teenage pregnancy
Written by Neo Molefi on January 19, 2024
Written by: Tasha Siziba
Gauteng Health MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko visited three secondary schools in Kwa-Thema and Langaville townships of Ekurhuleni district as part of the Gauteng Provincial Government’s back-to-school campaign.
The visit aimed to assess preparedness for the upcoming school year and address educational concerns among learners and teachers.
Adolescent pregnancy is a pressing concern in all three schools – Nkumbulo Secondary School, Zimisele High School, and Langaville Secondary School.
MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko says, the Gauteng Department of Health has established Youth Zones, staffed by young medical professionals, to provide youth-focused care and address health issues affecting both males and females.
Ralehoko says the number of teenagers giving birth at Gauteng health facilities are alarming.
Over 13,700 infants were born to teenage moms in the province’s public health institutions during the current fiscal year.
“The challenge of teenage pregnancy is a societal one and requires a transdisciplinary and collective approach. All sector of society must play an active role in addressing this pandemic effectively. I would like to urge every member of society to join hands with government in empowering our learners with information that will enable them to make informed decisions without jeopardising their future”, said MEC Nkomo-Ralehoko.
Additional concerns brought forward were the increase in pupil suicides, drug misuse, gangsterism, and bullying.
“Vandalism takes service delivery a thousand steps backwards, it diverts funds that could be used for educational resources, and it also shows that as a community we do not value the importance of education. I want to urge you all to join hands and take a collective stand against vandalism in our schools. We all have the responsibility to protect the public infrastructure for the betterment of our communities.”
Nkomo-Ralehoko pledged to include stakeholder and school concerns in the Gauteng Provincial Government’s agenda to expedite intervention efforts.