TEENAGE mothers usually have lower education and income, compared to those who delay their childbearing.
In addition, such teenage mothers suffer from various health and social problems.
Legal Assistance Centre GRAP Project Assistant, Celine Engelbrecht, said pregnancies often cause learners to end their education, leaving them with very few options of establishing a good life for themselves and their children.
Pregnancies amongst learners threaten their health and social welfare and the health and welfare of the children born to them.
She added that schools must confront this situation by rendering support rather than punishing the learners who become parents.
“The learners will need support to continue with their education until the time of confinement and subsequently, while still ensuring the welfare and health of the newborn child,” said Engelbrecht.
Schools should also provide information to assist female learners who have become pregnant in obtaining financial support for the child from the male responsible for the pregnancy or his family.
According to UNICEF Report 2008, women below 20 are likely to experience maternal death four times more than women above the age of 20.
Adolescents who engage in unprotected sex are likely to be infected with HIV and AIDS, as well as other STD’s.
Adolescent: refers to young people from the ages of 15 to 19 and adolescent pregnancy is pregnancy in girls at the same ages.
The report states the percentage of adolescent pregnancy varied according to region.
The top five regions with the highest percentages of teenage pregnancies were Kavango (13.1%), Otjozonjupa (9.1%), Khomas (9.0%), Zambezi (8.5%) and Ohangwena (8.2%). Intervention efforts to reduce teenage pregnancy should especially focus on these regions, the LAC noted.
Most of the women (55.1%) were from rural areas.
With regard to religion, most women were protestant (75.9%), while a considerable number of the women came from female-headed households (52.3%).
The dominant language spoken by the women was Oshiwambo (44.8%).