Teen pregnancy on the rise in Mauritius.


Date: August 27, 2012
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Name: Teen pregnancy on the rise in Mauritius.

Name of publication: Le Mauricien

Name of Journalist: Naseem Ackbarally

Date: 17TH August 2012

Country: Mauritius

Theme: Reproductive Health

Skills: Sources

Genre: Local News

Gem classification: Gender Blind

Description

: Mauritius is facing many challenges. Teenage pregnancy is of great concern to the authorities, parents and the whole society at large. There has been an increase of pregnancy among juveniles.
Le Mauricien in its edition of 17 August 20012 gives an in-depth article on teenage pregnancy and gave voice to the voiceless. Met at the girl’s shelter of the Mauritius Family Planning and Welfare Association in Bell Village, Jacqueline aged 14 and mother of a child of 9 months regrets that she has been sexually active at such age. She admits that “I was pregnant for my boyfriend who is my neighbour and the brother of my good friend. I am very upset and regret a lot that I had to quit school but I wish to carry on when my baby gets older”. Marguerite aged 16 confesses that her boyfriend alleges that he is not responsible of her pregnancy and has denied paternity. “He blamed me and I was extremely disappointed.”
In 2011, 230 cases have been registered which is a worrying situation according to the authorities. One of the head of the girl’s shelter believes that it is too much for a small island such as Mauritius. “It is very serious and we should note that many cases are not reported because of the stigma and the trauma suffered by the victims and also by fear when the guilty is a member of the family,” he said.
The gynaecologist Dr. Chandra Shekar Ramdaursingh refers to changes in the Mauritian patterns to explain the increase in teenage pregnancies. He believes that these early pregnancies are on the rise because there is a change in mores in Mauritius. There is now many “fast-food centres” where lots of young girls and boys go there to smoke and consume alcoholic drinks. “We also recognise that the parents do not have enough time to devote to their children. In the developed countries, it is acceptable to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Now with Facebook, all young people have boyfriends and girlfriends.” Dr. Ramdaursing finds it unfortunate that some Mauritians accept that their children have this kind of relationship.
At the MEDCO Cassis College, Stacey Antoinette and her friends have attended workshops on sexual and reproductive health regularly facilitated by the members of an NGO. The sessions enlighten the changes that take place in the body of a girl at puberty. When the body of a girl starts to develop she tends to be interested in the male body and to attract the attention of men.
Some of the advices learned in these talks are how a girl must protect her body and not to fall into the stunt of some men. Besides, we have also learned how regulate our desires and to be more mature before having sex.
During these talks, they do discuss of the menstruation, ovulation and the risks of pregnancy, of sexual infections and other diseases. Shannon, a young student blames her parents who do not talk of sex at home. “They are embarrassed and it is outside, with our friends, that we learn the sexual life and very often poorly.
Faced with such a situation, sex education would be welcome at school. It is important for both girls and boys as they are responsible for the increase in the number of cases of teenage pregnancies in Mauritius.
Article 14 : Education and Training of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development highlights the implementation of gender sensitive educational policies and programmes addressing gender stereotypes in education and gender-based violence. It is also about time that proper sex education and teenage pregnancy are included in these programmes.

 


One thought on “Teen pregnancy on the rise in Mauritius.”

samilah seesurrun says:

It is true that teenage pregnancy is going on a rise in Mauritius,as young girls are more exposed to the internet and films.As a girl said in the article her parents find it difficult to talk about sexual issues at home.Therefore, sexual and reproductive health education is becoming a must in our schools and colleges and also in remote areas and small villages.

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