of The nation woke up on Boxing Day to see a photo of a 14-year-old girl being blessed to give birth to her first child (twins) on Christmas Day 2022.
Admittedly, it’s not every day or even every year that teenage mothers have twins.
What was surprising was the outburst of anger, mostly on social media, that stemmed from the news.
why is the problem? Like we said, the celebration of the firstborn on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day these days goes by without the slightest fanfare.
In this case, the mother has little or no control over the birth of the twins other than deciding whether to carry the fetus to term.
People whose consciences have been pricked by the pregnancy of adolescents are on to something. Women are always at the center of the problem. In fact, we may never know who our father is.
Furthermore, I am encouraged by her intention to return to school to continue her education. Without an education, in a Jamaican context, a girl could face a deeper life of poverty and fall into the cycle of misery that would follow her children.
Jamaica has the third-highest adolescent pregnancy rate in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to Dr. Denise Chevanne of the United Nations Population Fund, a rate that may have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic that has forced schools to close. have enough sex.
Experts believe school closures will lead to higher dropout rates for girls. The disruption can also increase girls’ domestic responsibilities and force them to live on their own or help their families by forming sexual relationships with older men. .
Thankfully, Jamaica has a well-served 44-year-old women’s center whose centerpiece is the reception of pregnant girls who are allowed to continue their education. We are also fortunate to have access to national technical support projects to reduce teenage pregnancies.
The government has announced plans to spend approximately $7.9 million on the project during the 2021/2022 fiscal year. The project is conducted by the National Planned Parenthood Commission and funded by the Inter-American Development Bank. I just hope the money isn’t secretly diverted to other projects.
Some of the laudable goals include helping to reduce adolescent pregnancy rates in Jamaica. Influencing changes in sexual and reproductive health behaviors in adolescent boys and girls. Increase access to sexual and reproductive health services and products for adolescents.
Expected physical goals for fiscal year 2021/2022 include continuing to provide contraceptives to adolescent mothers and expediting project audits and closures.
With the pandemic already limiting access to contraceptives and other family planning services, which can lead to unplanned pregnancies, there should be no temptation to spend money elsewhere.
We, of course, wish the teenage mother and her twins to escape the ravages of poverty that plagued many of her peers before her.