Teenage pregnancy in SA 'systemic', with no decline in numbers since 1998

Former statistician-general, Dr Pali Lehohla says the issue of teenage pregnancies in South Africa remains systemic.

Teenage pregnancies pose a serious health risk to mother and child, as teenagers seek assistance far too late in the pregnancy.

Lehohla says while the numbers have not increased since 1998, they have not dropped either.

It is at 70 per 1000, which is relatively high but it has remained in that space since 1998.

Dr Pali Lehohla, former statistician-general

Any efforts that were made have not changed the situation.

Dr Pali Lehohla, former statistician-general

Lehohla says the notion that teenagers are getting pregnant to access social grants is not true, but he does cite poverty and lack of education as the root causes.

The problem of poverty has not been solved for a number of years and If we don't prioritise that we are not going to solve the problem of teenage pregnancy.

Dr Pali Lehohla, former statistician-general

We need to deal with education first and foremost because that's where the root evil is. We have to address it from a perspective of human rights and gender parity.

Dr Pali Lehohla, former statistician-general

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:


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