IN a startling revelation, it has been reported that over 700 teenagers aged between 10 to 14 became pregnant and gave birth in 2022 alone.
According to MDC Alliance legislator Ruth Labode (pictured), the recently launched Zimbabwe Statistical Agency Vital Statistics report indicated there was need for comprehensive sex education and access to reproductive healthcare for young people.
Speaking in parliament, Labode challenged the health ministry to present its strategy to curb teenage pregnancies.
“Dis-aggregated data on the distribution of births by age of mother released during the launch of the Zimbabwe Statistical Agency (Zimstat) Vital Statistics Report shows that 700 girls aged 10 to 14 gave birth in 2022,” said Labode.
“What does this say about this country? Could the Minister of Health and Child Care bring a Ministerial Statement and tell us what strategy they have to curb this scourge of teenage pregnancies.
“A ten year old is not a teenager but a baby,” she added.
Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the whole country is seized with the matter and called for stiffer penalties against child molesters.
“The government is seized with it and the ministry of health is putting a lot of strategies which they would need to articulate in this house.
“ To have 700 young girls aged 10 to 14 getting pregnant is very sad.
“A ten-year-old is a baby and for any person in his right sense to actually take her as a woman, I think there is an element of madness which needs to be dealt with; an element of cruelty or animal behaviour which needs to be dealt with,” Mutsvangwa said.