Botswana: Teenage Pregnancy Dismays Thankane

Jwaneng — Some statistics may seem small to many, but relative to a sparsely populated Thankane, a village sandwiched between farms in the Jwaneng periphery.

Statistics have shown that eight and 10 teenage pregnancy cases were reported in 2014 and 2017 respectively while 14 have already been recorded this year.

Nevertheless, allegations abound that some cases were not reported, hence the fear that numbers could be higher.

"Mind you, we are still almost a full month before year end, which means the numbers might still grow," lamented Kgosi Dinkwetse Kesamang in an interview.

He said a major concern was that some cases were not reported to the police.

Kgosi Kesamang narrated how as soon as he got into office early this year, he realised that the issue was one of the main concerns that he needed to address.

"We once had a meeting and the police stationed here were shocked to hear about such cases. They only leant about them from the clinic personnel and this indicates that such cases go unreported in the village. The nurses only come to know about them because they had to take children for maternity assistance, otherwise it would still be a dark secret," he said.

Therefore, the village leadership called for assistance in order to arrest the problem.

He said they were expecting Mogale Junior Secondary School management in Maokane, where pupils from Thankane were admitted, to address residents next week because they were also concerned by the pregnancy rate.

On other issues, Kgosi Kesamang said his village was in need of electricity.

"Nearby villages such as Mokhomma and Samane, which are our size have electricity and their schools have computers, which enhances education but here we only dream of such. So our wish is to be connected to the national grid too," he said.

Kgosi Kesamang also decried lack of accommodation for civil servants in the village, which he said forced some married couples to share.

Also, he said, a police officer at the rank of sergeant and a nurse were yet to report to the village, but were delayed because of lack of accomodation.

The Village Development Committee (VDC) chairperson, Mr Aone Pebea said the health post needed to be upgraded to a clinic looking at the number of people it assisted.

"It not only assists Thankane community, but even those from the neighbouring farms including those that fall in the Kgalagadi District," he said.

Unfortunately, he said when the national housing and population census was done, people from such farms were normally recorded at other villages although they got services in Thankane.

He also said the other reason that justified upgrading of the health post was that the village was far from modern amenities, which posed a risk in times of emergencies.

Kgosi Kesamang also pleaded for a tarmac road to connect the village to Jwaneng as well as improvement of water reticulation.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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