TEEN PREGNANCY IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM

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TEEN PREGNANCY IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM

Teenage pregnancy is on the rise and has become a thorny issue. Public healthcare facilities have been put under extreme pressure, as a result. The sad reality is that older men take advantage of girls. Government should strengthen national health systems, implement sex education, provide affordable and safe contraception, and address root causes. We must educate young people about sexual health and encourage open discussion. It is disappointing to see a young girl of about 15 falling pregnant. Some end up undergoing unsafe illegal abortions. Babies born to teenage mums are more likely to die than those born to women aged between 20 and 24. Babies born to teenage mothers are likely to be exposed to long-term health issues. Insufficient knowledge of contraceptives is one of the factors behind the high rate of teenage pregnancy. Parents must stop believing that it is a taboo to talk about sex with young people. Believing that talking about sex is a taboo has gone a long way in facilitating teenage pregnancy. Parents only start regretting when they see their kids becoming underaged parents. Government alone cannot curb this ongoing problem. Everyone should do their bit in educating children about the consequences of teenage pregnancy. Nelson Kgatla Pretoria North

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