Jwaneng hit by STIs and worrying teen pregnancies
Teenage pregnancy rate continues to increase and has become a growing problem for Jwaneng, according to District AIDS coordinator, Stella Keipeile. In a recent interview with The Midweek Sun, Keipeile noted that they are tasked with dealing with this challenge.
“The problem of early pregnancies for school girls is very serious and we have to tackle it if we are to ensure not only that our girls pursue education to the highest level possible but to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS,” she said.She also noted that sexual exploitation among children was a factor in the increase of teenage pregnancies. “Everyday, many girls are defiled and impregnated. Sexual exploitation of children is a vice that threatens the moral fibre that binds our communities,” she said.
Statistics from the district indicate that in the last quarter of 2016, 12 cases of teenage pregnancy were recorded. Nine were from Jwaneng, while from July to September in the same year, 13 were recorded, 8 of which were from the mining town. Keipeile said that this was a cause for concern as it indicated that young people were not using protection and therefore at a higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) and HIV/AIDS. Keipeile said STIs were also a major problem.
399 cases were recorded from July to September 2016 in the mining town alone. 236 of which were females and 163 being males. In the same year, from October to December, 429 were recorded. The highest incidence of STIs occurred among females of 15 to 29 years of age. The most common STIs noted were urethral discharge syndrome (UDS), Venereal disease (VDS) and Genital Warts.
Jwaneng has a population of 18,008 and an HIV prevalence of 12.8 percent. Currently a total of 122 children and adolescents are on antiretroviral therapy, of which 62 are between the ages of 15-19 years. Keipeile encouraged youth to focus on their education and if they are sexually active, ensure that they practise safe sex with a tested and faithful partner.