The Guard

The Truth On Board

Alarming statistics of teenage pregnancy in the district

By Emily Setona

QWAQWA – Shocking statistics revealed by Dineo Mabuya a representative from the Thabo Mofutsanyana district’s department of health, who said that teenage pregnancy is a peril in the district. She said this during a moral regeneration dialogue session organised by Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality’s (TMDM) executive mayor Conny Msibi on April 3 at the district’s council chamber.

During her presentation to a chamber full of queens and princesses of the eastern Free State, Mabuya said that workers in the TMDM’s department of health are weighed down by what is happening to young girls in the district and their hearts are heavy because of the shocking statistics of teenage pregnancy in the district.

“Our data is captured quarterly from January to December, so I am going to share the statistics of the year 2023 during the last quarter. The reason I say that we as health workers bear a heavy load is because in the whole Free State province, we have the highest rate of teenage pregnancies which some may excuse by saying that we have a lot of schools, but I beg to differ. Ours is a serious problem that needs urgent attention and I plead to you leaders of royal households and mothers to the nation to please join hands with us because we need each other to fight this monster,” Mabuya said.

According to the statistics for the fourth quarter of 2023 in the six local municipalities of TMDM the following are the number of teenage pregnancies that were recorded amongst teenage girls aged 10 – 14: Dihlabeng had 14 pregnancies, Maluti -a- Phofung (MAP) had 20 pregnancies, Mantsopa 1pregnancy, Setsoto 1 pregnancy while Nketoana and Phumelela had none, bringing the total number of teenage pregnancies in this age group to a total of 36. In the age group 15 – 18-year-olds, Dihlabeng had 491 pregnancies, MAP had 771 pregnancies, Mantsopa had 90 pregnancies, Nketoana had 41 pregnancies, Setsoto had 128 pregnancies and Phumelela had 48 pregnancies and the total number of pregnancies in this age group were 1569.

The number of terminated pregnancies which were recorded reached a total of 104 successful terminations with Dihlabeng having 46 terminations, MAP 54 terminations, Phumelela 4 terminations while Mantsopa, Nketoana and Setsoto had no recorded terminations. These statistics are horrifying because childbirth can be a matter of life and death and a young teenage girl’s body hasn’t fully developed to experience the trauma of pregnancy or the termination thereof.
While addressing the crowd the queen mother Mofumahadi Mathokoana Mopeli said that this can not continue to happen on their watch because coming to such events and listening to these terrible statistics year after year cannot be right. “I hope that we didn’t just come here to tick a register and to go back and say I was there representing this or that royal house dressed to the nines. I really hope that we are moved to act, that in our small corners we go back and do what we can do to make an impactful change, as queens and princesses we are also human and are plagued by our own problems as well but together I believe that we can do so much more to change our communities,” Mopeli said.

Thabo Mofutsanyana district municipality in the company of royal queens in the district.

“I’m sure that as we are all seated here that we have created our own lists after listening to all the presentations from the different stakeholders and will do the little we can in our corners to engage our young girls in our communities so that we really take steps to turn things around so that the knowledge that we got here is not lost and every time we meet we feel like we are starting from the beginning and that our work has no foundation and progress,” Msibi said in her final address to the queens and princesses gathered at the is moral regeneration dialogue.