Over 1,400 girls pregnant between January 2021 and mid-year 2022 in the Eastern Province

Eastern Province recorded over 1,400 pregnancies among girls aged below fifteen from January 2021 to mid-year of 2022.

This is according to Eastern Province HIV and AIDS Coordinating Advisor, Emmanuel Chama.

Mr Chama has said that a total of 922 girls under the age of 15 fell pregnant in 2021 while 491 girls were pregnant between January and June this year.

He said in 2021 Katete recorded the highest number of teenage pregnancies, with 144 girls falling pregnant while in the first half of 2022, Lumezi was in the lead with 66 pregnant girls below the age of 15.

“I am sad to report to you some of the challenges we have with regards to adolescents’ health. We are concerned that the age category has dropped to below 15, which is defilement by law,” he said.

He further expressed worry that these cases are mostly not reported to the police.

Mr Chama elaborated that statistics this year Lumezi is in the lead with 66 cases, followed by Katete with 46, Lusangazi 45, Petauke 42, Sinda 42 while Vubwi is the lowest with 2 cases.

“In 2021, Katete topped with 144 cases, followed by Chama district with 108, Petauke with 101 and the lowest was Vubwi with 23,” he said.

The Province HIV and AIDS Coordinator appealed to parents to report cases to the police so that a measure to curtail similar behaviour is achieved when the process of the law is followed.

Meanwhile, Eastern Province Deputy Permanent Secretary Beauty Phiri has described the statistics as a shocker.

She said it is a very disappointing route that children are being curtailed from their normal lives due to the greed in society.

“The lives of these children are being destroyed. More needs to be done by all stakeholders, including the police, parents and traditional leaders, among others to ensure that these cases are curtailed,” she said.

A total number of 1,413 girls under the age of 15 are reported to have fallen pregnant in Eastern province between January 2021 and June 2022.