UNFPA report shows SA leads Africa in teenagers who give birth before 18

Durban – A UNFPA report (United Nations Population Fund) shows that South Africa leads the continent with the number of teenagers who give birth before the age of 18.

In a report delivered on Thursday at Zimbali Resorts, north of Durban during a conference organised by the department of social development and UNFPA to dive into the scourge of unintended pregnancies worldwide, South Africa is also among the leading African countries where women are not using modern methods of contraception.

In the 160-page long report titled: Seeing the Unseen: The case for action in the neglected crisis of unintended pregnancy, the State of Population 2022, it says the world records 121 million unintended pregnancies every year and that should be seen as a global failure of basic human rights, and a neglected crisis.

Somewhere, the report says women and girls married as adolescents tend to have less education, less household and economic power and less mobility than unmarried adolescents and older women.

It added that they tend to be isolated and lack the knowledge and skills to negotiate situations that are detrimental to their health and well-being — including how many children to have and when.

Equally, the age gap between spouses tends to be larger among women who marry at younger ages compared to women who marry at older ages, the report says.

Presenting a graph to show the statistics on how sub-Saharan African countries are faring in terms of births before 18 years, it showed that South Africa was leading the pack with 95 percent.

According to the report, the country is followed by Namibia, Gabon, Angola and Malawi.

The same report revealed that 19 percent of unmarried women and girls aged 15 to 24 years in South Africa have been sexually active in the past year but are not using modern methods of contraceptives.

Leading the pack in this regard are women in Angola sitting at 28 percent followed by Zambia at 22 percent followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo at 20 percent. On the fourth spot are women from the Kingdom of Eswatini sitting at 18 percent.

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