Mukudzei Chingwere in Mashonaland Central
Health authorities in Guruve, Mashonaland Central province say there have witnessed more than 25 percent upsurge in teenage pregnancies which they fear could torpedo successes in the reduction of maternity mortality.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) reports that every year, an estimated 21 million girls aged 15–19 years in developing regions become pregnant and approximately 12 million of them giving birth.
In Mashonaland Central, most districts recorded more than 25 percent increase in teen age pregnancies.
Eighty-six girls under 16 years registered their pregnancies at different health facilities in the province between January and March, while there were 157 deliveries during the same period in the same age group.
Guruve district medical officer Dr Tinashe Mandisodza said successive lockdowns and the presence of small scale miners in area might have caused the spike.
Authorities in Mbire district in the same province say also recorded a spike in teen pregnancies as well.
The WHO says early pregnancies among adolescents have major health consequences for adolescent mothers and their babies.
Zimbabwe has now activated its health education systems around the country to control child pregnancies.
Law enforcement agents are intensifying prosecution of those having sexual intercourse with underage girls.