Thursday, July 29, 2021

School and Pregnancy

Some 19.3% of pregnancies in Sub Saharan Africa are among adolescents. In Burkina Faso, it is 11%. 

Teenage pregnancy often puts an end to the mother’s education, as young mothers switch their focus from school to taking care of the child. This reduces the mother’s earning potential and feeds into a cycle of poverty which means the child is also less likely to attend school and achieve financial stability years later.

Abortion is illegal in normal circumstances in Burkina Faso. It is permissible when rape or incest have occured, or if there is a danger to the health of the mother or severe fetal malformation. This is not well known among women, however, and the legal process for an abortion being approved is long and complicated. If a mother decides to terminate the pregnancy through an illegal abortion, their options for doing so are inherently unsafe.

The lack of awareness on how to prevent it is the basis of pregnancy in school.  The emphasis is always on trying to make sure the mother stays in school

GIZ,  a program by the German development agency (GIZ) and their Pro Enfant initiative organize awareness sessions, primarily for women. It must be said that in Africa, education begins with the mother at home. It also try to reach boys. Sometimes the boy doesn’t want to recognize the pregnancy and we have to speak to them about the legal implications of that. If the father, or his family, do not agree to help support the child, the case can end up in court. Also, when the pregnancy involves a father over 18 and a younger mother, this can cause the police to become involved.

 A cluster of specially trained parents also play a part by acting as role models to other parents. The child protection network are also trained by GIZ and bring together community members from the police, education, the health sector, the local orphanage and even the agricultural sector. Where agriculture is by far the largest sector of the economy, roles expectant mothers are no longer able to play in farming have to be accounted for. They also need to be kept away from certain pesticides that can be harmful to the unborn child.  Coordination means all elements of the community involved are able to react more quickly and efficiently.

To Prevent Teenage Pregnancies in Sub Saharan Africa, It Takes a Whole Village to Raise a Child | Inter Press Service (

No comments: