More than 28 girls on average became pregnant daily in Machakos County in the last five months, a new Kenya Health Information System survey has revealed.
Athi River is the most affected area while Kalama has the least number of reported pregnancies among girls of school going age according to the data obtained from hospitals.
Machakos Children’s Officer Salome Muthama, who the statistics was picked from cases recorded in all county hospitals, the number could be higher.
“During this coronavirus pandemic we do have 4000 impregnated girls. These are so many innocent girls,” she said.
The worrying trend has been linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, with authorities expressing fear that the data points to a bigger crisis.
Salome noted most of these cases are as a result of defilement by close family members.
“Most of these cases you will find involve children who were taken from urban centres in the wake of Covid-19 and left in the hands of their grandmothers in the countryside as the parents returned to the towns,” Ms Muthama told reporters in Machakos Town.
She called for concerted efforts to reverse the worrying trend, saying the unprecedented number of teenage pregnancies in the region portend a high school dropout rate and early marriages.
The newly released data comes at a time Kenya has been listed among countries with the highest teen pregnancy rates with 82 births per 1,000 births.