By Ann Kangero
A Children Officer in Mwala Sub County has advised parents to be close to their children and protect them from predators while helping them to avoid teenage pregnancies.
Sarah Solomon, a children’s officer in Mwala Machakos County was speaking during a stakeholders meeting held by NGO Kenya Connect in Wamunyu Mwala Sub County. The meeting involved Health Practitioners, Policemen, teachers and the media in an effort to counter rape and teenage pregnancy issue.
Ms. Solomon said the meeting was aimed at finding solutions to rape and teenage pregnancy in Mwala Sub County and talk to parents on how to create a relationship with their children in order to curb issues that affect them.
“We have met here as stakeholders to find out where the problem is in regards to the increase of teenage pregnancies which affects their education. I urge parents to be close to their children so that they can feel free to tell them what goes on in their lives,” said the Children’s officer.
She added that parents should be united and focus on how to help each other by reporting rape or suspected predators in the community.
Dr. Elizabeth Munyao from Wamunyu health Centre also advised the parents and residents to always report rape cases and take their children to hospital immediately they suspect rape.
“In case your child has been raped, do not wash her, just pick the clothes she was wearing and take her to the hospital immediately before 72 hours elapse so that she gets medication to avoid pregnancy, HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases,” said Dr. Munyao.
Kenya Connect Director James Mutisya said it was important to meet with all involved parties to find out how else the NGO can help eradicate the teenage pregnancy menace.
Founded in 2002, Kenya Connect has expanded with robust programming to break down barriers to education while providing enrichment and empowerment activities for 17,000 students and 500 teachers at 44 primaries and 11 secondary schools in the Mwala sub county of Machakos.
Kenya Connect has also focused on providing a variety of programs to enhance the education of the rural students and teachers. Their ultimate goal is to provide access to educational and technology programs that might not be available to them because of where they live and that will allow them to succeed in the future.