The Ministry of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare says the only option to address the issue of teenage pregnancies which is reportedly on the rise in the country, is to urge the parents to keep their children busy all the time.
According to media reports, the country has recorded over 10,000 teenage pregnancies in Phalombe, Nsanje and Mangochi districts following the prolonged closure of schools due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking to YFM online, the line minister, Patricia Kaliati, expressed shock over the development and she suggested the need to engaging the parents and community leaders to address the matter.
Kaliyati said: “This is a very sad development and as government the only option which we have is to reach out to the parents and urge them to do their best in keeping their children busy with school work and household chores so as to disrupt them from bad behavior.”
She however pointed fingers at most parents who are failing to provide proper parental care to their children.
“If we talk of children being impregnated now because they have stopped going to school, it means that even during school period the parents were just forcing them to school without a purpose and were just being dumped there as one way of getting rid of them,” she said.
The minister said government will soon start linking with the parents and the community leaders with the aim of giving them expertise on how they can handle the children and keep them busy.
On March 23, government declared the closure of all schools to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Since then, the country has been registering high numbers of teenage pregnancies and marriages.