Deputy Minister says 156,000 teenage pregnancies reported last year

Thousands of girls were made pregnant last year and this year. Picture: FILE

Thousands of girls were made pregnant last year and this year. Picture: FILE

Published Sep 6, 2023


Deputy Minister of Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo says they are concerned about the number of girls who fall pregnant after 156,000 girls got pregnant between 2021/2022.

He said in the previous financial year, 126,000 girls got pregnant.

Dhlomo said this number includes girls who deliver babies in their hospitals and those who terminate pregnancies in their clinics and healthcare facilities.

He said they were trying to intervene to reduce teenage pregnancy cases in the country.

Dhlomo, who was answering oral questions in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Wednesday, said the issue of teenage pregnancy was high on their agenda.

In the past, the Department of Basic Education had told parliament it was also taking several measures to reduce teenage pregnancy.

Dhlomo told members of the NCOP that some of the girls who fall pregnant are as young as 10-years-old.

He said this was a large number of girls who have to go through this process.

But his department was working with other departments to ensure that they intervene.

“Between April 2021 to March 2022, 156,154 teenage pregnancies were there, including 10 to14-year-olds. Of that age, 396 were between the age of 10 to 14 years. In March 2022 to March 20223, 127,096 were teenage pregnancies. We have done some statistics because they come to our clinics and hospitals to deliver,” said Dhlomo.

Part of the plans to reduce teenage pregnancy was the implementation of the integrated sexual and reproductive health policy.

They also work with other departments to crackdown on teenage pregnancy.

Dhlomo also urged the public to join hands with the department to tackle the problem.

He said it must be made clear that the figures that he released were both cases of girls who give birth to babies and those who terminate pregnancies.