Tough economic conditions blamed for spike in teen pregnancies


Zimbabwe has witnessed a sharp rise in the number of teenage pregnancies, and this has been blamed on the searing economic recession and gruelling poverty the country is reeling under, according to a latest survey. 

teenage pregnancy zimbabwe rise

The survey titled, ’National Assessment on Adolescent Pregnancies in Zimbabwe’ was undertaken through concerted efforts by a technical team drawn from Plan International, Zimbabwe National Family Planning Council and Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare Ministry—with funding and technical support anchored by UNICEF Zimbabwe, WHO, UNESCO, and UNFPA.

The survey revealed that adolescent pregnancy prevalence was 23, 7% for adolescents aged between 10 -19 years. Among the 337 pregnant adolescents, 4 % had disabilities. The analysis also shows that adolescent pregnancy prevalence was 0,9% among 10–14-year-olds and 41,2% among 15–19-year-olds.

The report outlined that these distressing figures ultimately boiled down to the grinding poverty bedeviling Zimbabwe.

“The prevailing economic recession which led to poverty, unemployment, depletion of family savings, falling prices of their agricultural produce and migration of parents and caregivers has been cited as key drivers of adolescent pregnancy.

“The upsurge in parental migration has undermined family structures leaving children alone or under the care of de facto caregivers thereby increasing children’s vulnerability to risky sexual behavior and sexual abuse,” the report said.

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