A survey conducted between the months of July and September in the Western Province has revealed a rise in teenage pregnancies with an average of 25 girls being impregnated every day.
The survey which was conducted by CLADHO – an umbrella of 12 human rights civil society organisations shows that a total of 2,233 school girls in western province have been found pregnant.
According to the authorities, the trend in this part of the country is largely blamed on the parents’ failure to discuss reproductive health with their teenage children.
Speaking to KT Press, the Gender and Family Promotion Minister Esperance Nyirasafari said that parents are avoiding the responsibility of helping their children to avoid early pregnancies.
“There are parents who shy away and don’t want to talk about reproductive health with their children,” she said emphasising that parents need to wake up and take care of their teenage girls.
The National Women Council is also conducting nationwide research on early pregnancies among girls.
Last year, more than 700 girls were reported pregnant in Ngoma district alone. Adolescent girls between 11 and 18 years are highly vulnerable.
In a survey last year by CLADHO in 10 districts of Kicukiro, Gasabo, Nyarugenge, Kamonyi, Huye, Karongi, Nyamasheke, Gicumbi, Rwamagana and Bugesera, it was discovered that pregnancy among young girls is rampant.
Among the surveyed pregnant girls, the research indicated that coerced sex accounted for 87.7%.
The study also discovered that 49% of the girls are impregnated by colleagues and 20% by family friends. The other 2% are impregnated by their teachers while 1% is by local leaders.
The survey shows that the consequences that follow this pregnancies include; school dropouts (50%), poverty (19%), depression (11%) while others such as discrimination account for 5%.
More worryingly, the 2016 report revealed that 99% of pregnant teenagers never received any legal support while 88% did not receive support from perpetrators.
The research also shows that only 5% of the babies born this way are officially registered.
As unwanted pregnancies among school-going girls take a new twist, Gender Minister warns that culprits will be brought to book.
“A child should be respected. We have stepped up measures to deal with those defiling children,” Minister Nyirasafari told KT Press.