EASTERN Province last year recorded over 24,700 adolescence pregnancies.
Briefing journalists at his office on Thursday, provincial permanent secretary Chanda Kasolo said the affected ages were between 12 and 20.
“Unfortunately, in the province we have high numbers of adolescence pregnancies for 2018. The total number is 24,731 and this is from January to December 2018. So the affected ages are from 12 to 20 years,” he said. “This is regardless whether these are married or not. Others will call it disgusting but we have got to try and find a way of alleviating this problem. This is a problem because it is taking potential winners in our economy, some of these people would have been doctors, managers of banks, big politicians and so on or they could have been big entrepreneurs making a lot of money for Zambia and employing some of our people.”
Kasolo said the high rate of adolescence pregnancies was a serious matter.
He said Chipata recorded the highest figure of over 5,000 adolescence pregnancies because it was a city and had the largest population in the province.
“We also have high figures for Lundazi which is 4,898; the lowest figures are from Vubwi at 560 – well done Vubwi! We also have Petauke
at 3,792, Nyimba 1,481, Katete 2,675, Chadiza 1,419, and Mambwe 1,198,” Kasolo said. “I must point out though that Chipata is now three districts – of course we have Chipangali and Kasenengwa, so if we divide those, I don’t know how the figures will be.”
Kasolo cited peer pressure as one of the contributing factors to the high adolescence pregnancies which results in early indulgence in
“The other causes of this are certain cultural traditions. So we have the responsibility to sensitise the people about the dangers of this,” he said. “As government we support Kalonga Gawa Undi’s stance to ban certain cultural practices that perpetuate things like adolescence pregnancies. High illiteracy levels and poverty are some of the causes.”