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From policy and evidence to action Counties perspectives on teenage pregnancy in Kenya

What are existing barriers legal/policy, social and structural barriers that hider effective of programs that address teenage pregnancies at the County level?

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Jul 30 2020, 08:36 pm   A M.
1. The Kenyan law focusing on adolescents states that teenagers of school going age are not allowed to learn about any other mechanisms to protect themselves from pregnancies. Instead, they should be encouraged to abstain and any person talking to them should encourage abstinence. This is not practical because teenagers are having sex a conversation on abstinence is not helping any one.

2. The Menstrual Health Policy in Kenya does not provide for the provision of sanitary towels when adolescent girls are at home from the holidays. The lack of sanitary towels is one of the biggest drivers of teenage pregnancy. Providing for sanitary towels only when the girls are in school is not practical. And especially during this time of the pandemic, teenage girls have no place to access sanitary towels.
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Jul 31 2020, 04:39 pm   Gaitano N.
1. Disconnect in policy and law. Whereas policy provides for access to sexual reproductive health and rights information by adolescents and young people, the law is either silent or restrictive in terms of the age of consent which has been set at 18 years.
2. Lack of/inadequate dissemination of policy documents to the grassroots level. A case in point is the Kenya School Health Policy which was launched in June 2019 and is yet to reach majority of the implementers.
3. Inadequate data collection tools. The data collection tools at both the facility and school levels do not capture the occupation of the teenager whenever she tests for pregnancy. This causes confusion in the interpretation of data as one cannot know if it's a pupil or a married teenager.
4. Generational gap. The generational gap between state officers charged with implementing policies meant for Adolescents and young people is an impediment as it is not accommodative of the modern approaches to matters sexuality. This has been the biggest challenge with adoption of comprehensive sexuality education coupled by religious and cultural beliefs that they hold.
5. Lack of prioritization of adolescents and young people sexual reproductive health and rights by county governments in terms of budgetary allocation for the provision of SRHR services. There needs to be more investment.
6. Inadequate public/private partnerships. The county governments cannot do everything and partnership with private enterprises/NGOs is important in filling up this gap. The long beautacratic process at Jogoo house has frustrated various attempts of NGOs in doing sensitization in schools.
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