Municipal council orders pregnancy testing in schools

11Nov 2019
The Guardian
Municipal council orders pregnancy testing in schools

MPANDA Municipal Council in Katavi Region has resolved that all secondary school female students within the municipality as well as those in standard five and six be subjected to mandatory pregnancy test.

The decision was made at the weekend during a council meeting after it emerged that 18 students from two secondary schools within the municipality were found to be pregnant.

Earlier, before the decision was reached, the chairman of the Council HIV/Aids Control Committee Lucas Kanoni underlined that child pregnancy is still a big challenge in the municipality.

He said in a period of three months a total of 18 students from two secondary schools were examined and found to be three months pregnant.

Kanoni said girl students from Kashaulili and Kasimba secondary schools were examined and it was revealed that in the case of Kasimba Secondary School 15 students were pregnant while in Kashaulili three were pregnant. The councillors expressed their utter bewilderment at the report.

Municipal Mayor Willy Mbogo said the problem of child pregnancy is serious in Mpanda Municipality, a situation that cannot be tolerated as it is shameful.

He directed the Secondary Schools Education Officer to come up with a report of steps taken on the people who impregnated the students.

Mbogo said recently teachers of Majengo Primary School discovered that one of the students was pregnant and upon questioning she said she was impregnated by her own father. Hence they took the culprit to court, where he was found guilty and jailed for life.

Mpanda District Education Officer Emeriana Tungulu said the main challenge from students found pregnant is that they never speak the truth when called to mention persons who impregnated them, saying they do not know who it was.

In addition some of them have been saying they met only once with the persons responsible for their pregnancies and do not know where they live.

Another challenge is non-cooperation by parents when needed to do so.

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