World Bank Partners Zambia to End Teenage Pregnancies

A senior World Bank official said on Tuesday that the financial institution was ready to partner authorities in Zambia to end teen pregnancies and child marriages among adolescent girls in the southern African nation.

Kundhavi Kadiresan, country director for Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe, said in remarks delivered at a high-level policy meeting on child marriages and teen pregnancies that reducing child marriages and delaying teenage pregnancies among adolescent girls requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders.

“Countries that are successful in reducing child marriage and teenage pregnancies, combined with educational opportunities reap a lot of benefits. The World Bank is delighted to partner the government of Zambia in finding solutions to help contain the problem of teenagers who become pregnant and miss out of education, ” she said.

According to her, reducing child marriage and delaying teenage pregnancies among adolescent girls is not only the right thing but also a smart thing to do as global evidence shows that girls who delay marriage and child bearing reach a higher level of education which helps them to become productive members of society.

According to World Bank figures, about 30% of girls in Zambia are dropping out of school due to pregnancy more than any other reason while 17% drop out due to early marriage.

She however said reducing child marriage and teenage pregnancy was a complex task as many cultural, social and economic factors interplay with each other hence the need for a multisectoral approach to deal with the problem.

Zambia’s minister of gender and development Nkandu Luo said during the same occasion that there was need to come up with pragmatic actions that will allow adolescent girls to develop and become productive.

“The problems of child marriages and teenage pregnancies need concerted efforts. We need to do much more and prevent our children from early pregnancies and early marriages,” she said.

She further said there is need to deal with issues that were fuelling teenage pregnancies and early marriages such as high poverty levels.

The two-day high-level meeting will analyse the situation of adolescent girls in Zambia and discuss evidence-based policy and options to promote and enable the growth and development of adolescent girls.

– Nampa-Xinhua

Source : The Namibian