Kenya review by Dr. Teresa Mwoma, Dept of ECD, KU

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Review of Documented Literature on Policies, Programs and Services in Kenya by Dr. Teresa Mwoma; ECD Department; Kenyatta University

Dr. Teresa Mwoma, of the Department of Early Childhood in Kenyatta University partners with PAN to review the status of Adolescents with parenting responsibilities.

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Kenya review by Dr. Teresa Mwoma, Dept of ECD, KU

  1. 1.  In the family children are shaped and prepared to face external world.  Protection, upbringing and development of children rests with the family.  Parenting influence acquisition of behavior and social skills that shape the moral, self discipline and responsibilities of young children.
  2. 2.  Increasing number of young adolescents are getting into parental responsibilities prematurely.  Consequently a focus on teenage parenting is necessary to:  Understand realities and  Challenges adolescents with parenting responsibilities face in raising children as they continue to achieve their goals and aspirations.
  3. 3. Identify existing information on this group of youth in relation to;  policies/legislations,  Programs and  Challenges
  4. 4.  Birth rate among adolescents in Kenya above 100 births per 1,000 among adolescents aged 15–19  26% of all women in Kenya become mothers or pregnant for the first time by age 18 (KNBS & ICF Macro 2010).  This situation has a major implication on national development especially on the poverty reduction realm.
  5. 5. Adolescent parenthood is closely associated with low educational achievement,  increased dependence on governmental support by the adolescent mother,  increased infant mortality and low birth weight.  Such outcomes often lead to increased societal expenditure and a major cause of perpetual cycle of poverty.
  6. 6.  Current estimates indicate that between 10,000 to 13000 girls drop out of school each year due to pregnancy alone.  Report by the Center for Study of Adolescents-Counting the costs of teenage pregnancy and school dropout in Kenya.
  7. 7.  Return to school policy in 1994 and later revised it in 2009.  The policy allows pregnant girls to stay in school as long as they possibly can and resume as soon as they are strong after birth.  In addition, it requires schools to establish centers where the teenage mothers can breast feed their babies as they go to school.
  8. 8.  Balancing between chores and school work (Nelima, 2011).  Finding someone to look after their babies to return to school.  Some girls expelled from school when discovered to be pregnant (Muganda and Omondi, 2008)  Cultural factors like fathers being decision makers on whether to go back to school
  9. 9.  Embarrassment of teasing and taunting from their peers.  Young unmarried teenage mothers viewed as both immoral and incapable students at the neighbourhood.  This at times discourages parents from supporting the young mothers from returning to school.
  10. 10.  To address concerns on health and development of adolescents, the Adolescent Reproductive Health and Development Policy (ARH&D) 2003 adopted to:  Bring adolescent health issues into the mainstream of health and development in order to improve on their quality of life and well being.   Its health targets include to: increase the proportion of facilities offering basic essential obstetric care to adolescents and youth from 15% to 30% and comprehensive essential obstetric care from 9 % to 18 % by the year 2015.
  11. 11.  Increase the proportion of mothers below age 25 delivering in a health facility from baseline to 60% by the year 2015.  However, the policy does not explicitly outline its health targets for adolescents with parenting responsibilities
  12. 12.  Among the programs that support adolescents with parenting responsibilities in Kenya,  Young Mothers Kenya and  Hope for the Teenage Mothers.  Young Mothers Kenya target vulnerable adolescent girls to equip them with necessary skills for a socioeconomically sustainable life.
  13. 13.  To achieve this objective, the program focuses on capacity building of young mothers in communication skills, child care and child rights.  The program also focuses on reproductive health, HIV/AIDS and substance abuse.  It equips young mothers with skills on home nursing, micro credit and entrepreneurship among others.  In addition, the program is running a tailoring training to empower the teen mothers economically.
  14. 14.  Hope for Teenage Mothers project targets young girls who drop out of school due to teenage pregnancies.  The project also targets children born by the teenage young mothers in Embakasi and Dagoreti districts.  The main aim of the program is to enable teenage mothers develop economic independence through entrepreneurship and microfinance training.
  15. 15.  Information on the successes, challenges was scanty for the two programs  Apart from the return to school policy, the policies on psychosocial support, childcare skills  Teenage boys with parenting responsibilities especially if parents have died  Teenage fathers not much information
  16. 16.  Thank You

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