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Media campaign launched to tackle teenage pregnancy

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Teenage pregnancy in South Africa. Photo, SABC
Teenage pregnancy in South Africa. Photo, SABC

by ANNA NATABANE 
JOHANNESBURG – THE United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the South African government have intensified efforts to significantly reduce teenage pregnancies by next year (2020).

They have teamed up to launch the “Let’s Talk” campaign against early and unintended pregnancy (EUP), which is a multi-media approach and social media behaviour change initiative.

It is part of efforts to reduce EUP by 75 percent in 2020 across 21 countries in the Eastern and Southern regions.

The blocs have some of the highest rates in the world.

In South Africa 15,6 percent of young women aged between 15-19 years have given birth to or are pregnant with their first child, all
unplanned.

Child marriage, poor educational background and poverty as well as inaccessible health resources are blamed as the main factors that land the youth in these predicaments.

Experts believe parents also contribute to the crises because elders feel that contraceptives promote promiscuity.

In other countries, contraceptive are taboo.

“Let’s Talk campaign is driven by multiple factors that include poverty, lack of information and access to reproductive health services coercion and abuse,” said UNESCO National Programme Officer, Buyiswa Mpini.

She said to add to the problem, teenagers were putting their health and lives at risk by attempting illegal abortions to avoid being shamed and dropping out of school.

The new campaign complements the Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)
launched by the Department of Basic Education in 2000.

“South Africa as a country needs to reach the target (75 percent) before 2020,” said Senior Communications consultant,” Tariro
Makanga-Chikumbirike.

– CAJ News