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What Is Teenage Pregnancy in South Africa

The number of children born to teen mothers in South Africa’s most populated province, Gauteng, has increased by 60% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, raising concerns among Save the Children about the health of both mothers and kids.


According to new Gauteng Department of Health data, more than 23,000 girls under the age of 18 gave birth between April 2020 and March 2021, with 934 of them being under the age of 14, compared to 14,577 girls under the age of 19 bearing infants during the same period the previous year.


Gauteng is home to about 15 million people, accounting for one-quarter of South Africa’s population, and comprises the country’s largest metropolis, Johannesburg, as well as its administrative capital, Pretoria.

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In South Africa, early pregnancy and motherhood drives many girls to drop out of school, trapping many in a cycle of poverty reliant on public assistance, and stigmatizes many for being teenage moms or forced into early marriage.


It also increases the chance of maternal difficulties, resulting in low baby survival rates, and forces many girls to assume an adult role for which they are not emotionally or physically prepared. This has disastrous social and economic consequences.


Adolescent unintended pregnancy necessitates holistic approaches that empower girls, assist them in making life decisions, including sexual and reproductive health decisions, engage the support of men and boys in their lives, and provide them with real opportunities so that motherhood is not seen as their only destiny.

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Lack of access to Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) as well as inexpensive and appropriate health treatments is a major contributor to the sexual and reproductive health hazards that adolescents experience in South Africa.


Save the Children South Africa conducts an integrated and holistic approach to help children, adolescents, and young people stay in school, stay healthy, and reach their full potential.


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