Campaign against teen pregnancies continues
THE KZN Department of Health will hold a series of community dialogues as part of the continued fight against teenage pregnancy in the province.
MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo said the department will continue to educate women and teenage girls on the benefits of abstinence from sex, proper family planning and seeking early antenatal care for those who are pregnant.
‘It is believed that 8% of pregnant mothers are teenagers, but they contribute 25% to the rate of maternal deaths,’ Dr Dhlomo said last week.
‘When girls aged 13, 14 and 15 fall pregnant, it tends to create many complications.
‘Some of these girls drop out of school and never return, while many are infected with HIV and Aids.
‘We need to emphasise the merits of delaying sexual activity, and encourage those who believe they are ready to have sexual partners, to visit their local clinic for advice on contraception.’
This was also recently highlighted by Mandlazini Clinic nurse, Jabu Buthelezi, who addressed female learners at a young women’s seminar on the various options of contraception.
MEC Dhlomo further urged women planning to fall pregnant not to delay visiting clinics.
‘The first visit to a clinic during the second or third month is extremely valuable because this is when the foetus starts to develop and it may be vulnerable to underlying diseases if no health examinations are made.
‘Many complications can be avoided if mothers come in early.’ Dhlomo encouraged women to examine themselves for breast cancer and those over the age of 35 to visit healthcare facilities to get screened for cervical cancer.
KZN Health MEC, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo