The IFP urges the KZN MEC of Education, Peggy Nkonyeni in conjunction with her provincial counterpart KZN MEC of Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo to call an urgent teen pregnancy summit after reports that the KZN Province has a high rate of pregnant school children.
"Teen pregnancy in the country has reached a very alarming level. Comprehensive interventions are urgently needed to prevent a full-blown crisis," said IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson on Education, Mrs Thembeni kaMadlopha-Mthethwa, MPL.
"The summit should bring together government agencies, civil society and youth organisations to evaluate the situation and craft programmes to address what is fast becoming this generation's most defining issue. National conversation of this concern must involve all stake holders at all levels from national to local because a convergence of efforts is needed to effectively respond to this complex problem," continued Mrs Madlopha-Mthethwa.
"Lack of information and education about how they can prevent unplanned pregnancies is a very common concern among young girls, especially those who come from poor families. Parents, relatives, faith-based organisations, women`s clubs and other societal structures should also play a role in raising awareness and to provide support to the affected, young and old," concluded Mrs Madlopha-Mthethwa.
The IFP is of the view that this Summit will create a strong advocacy campaign to raise awareness about the physical risks and social implications of teenage pregnancy and provide accurate information on reproductive health in general. This would help adolescents exercise responsible sexuality and empower them to make informed decisions to live a more meaningful and productive life.
Issued by: IFP KZN Education Spokesperson, Mrs Thembeni KaMadlopha-Mthethwa, MPL, 071 884 3844 or 079 114 3015
Mr Phendulani Biyase, IFP KZN Legislature Media Liaison Officer, 073 024 5675