Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered a nationwide crackdown on clinics offering emergency contraceptives to underage girls.
Kenyatta’s directive comes after recent shocking revelations that thousands of underage schoolgirls in the country had gotten pregnant.
The president laid the blame in part to such clinics that offered contraceptives, saying they offered the minors a “sexual insurance” for promiscuity.
“The President has [told] us that adult males who engage in criminal sex with minors get hiding places in emergency contraceptives, and procure family planning injections and pills for minors, making sexual briefs with them a ‘safe’ lifestyle,” local Daily Nation newspaper quotes Zack Kinuthia, the Education Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS).
Kenyan schools have remained closed since March in a bid to curb further spread of COVID-19, another factor that is seen to have contributed to the increase in teenage pregnancies in the country.
With students and pupils still expected to stay out of school for lengthy periods, the ministry of education is looking to work with law enforcement agencies to ensure the president’s directive.
“We will be hard on any county commissioner and his team should we get verifiable reports that minor girls are being given access to family planning services. That will not be acceptable at all costs,” said Kinuthia.
A 2019 research conducted by Plan International across nine Kenyan counties revealed that teenage pregnancy left a huge issue on young girls. It showed that 98% of pregnant girls dropped out of school. It also pointed out that 45% of severe abortion complications were reported among adolescent girls.