Rwanda: Gasabo District Launches Campaign Against Teen Pregnancy

Gasabo district this week embarked on a campaign aimed at sensitizing the youth in the district against teen pregnancy.

The three-week programme to run from July, 26 to August 21, will keep the youth engaged during the ongoing holidays and help them learn more about sexual reproductive health, mainly the fight against early pregnancies.

Because of the prevailing conditions that do not allow for physical meetings, district authorities say they will use the internet, radio as well as TV programmes to reach the youth.

The campaign is organised at the time teen pregnancies remain high in the country, and which has been exacerbated by Covid-19 pandemic that for the past one and half years kept students out of school.

Last year, 19,701 teenage girls from all over the country gave birth between January and December 2020 according to statistics from the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF).

According to Regis Mudaheranwa, the Deputy District Executive Administration of Gasabo District, the campaign will be carried out by encouraging the youth to stay home during the pandemic and to use internet responsibly.

"This operation is a continuity of another one dubbed 'SIGAHO' that was carried out between May 21 and June this year which specifically targeted teen mothers, encouraging them to speak out," he said.

Through this, many of the perpetrators were arrested after the victims were encouraged to speak out.

According to Mudaheranwa, after the operation, he said that with the help of different testimonies from the victims and their families, they arrested at least 68 per cent within only 32 days of the operation.

"During the operation over 400 teenage pregnancy victims gave testimonies. They were supported in different ways to prevent and fight teen pregnancies in the future," he said, adding the new campaign will now target the youth in general.

The campaign targets youth aged between 16 years old to 30 years old since they are considered to be the most at-risk.

The district has over 395,000 people under 30 while those between 16 and 30 years of age are 164,640. Out of this population, 27,000 are in high school.

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