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  • Support groups for pregnant teenage girls in Narok County

For the past four years, Child.org has been working in Meru County, Kenya, enhancing women’s access to life-saving maternal health information. Now we are ready to expand across more of Kenya and it is with delight that we announce our latest project: Team Mum for pregnant teenage girls in Narok County. Next week, we are raising money to fund this project thanks to our Big Give Christmas Campaign.

Narok County

Narok County, nestled in the Rift Valley Region of Kenya, is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and significant role as a global tourism hub. The county’s rich biodiversity, including the iconic Big Five, makes it a captivating tourist destination in Africa and this plays a vital role in the local economy and contributes to the conservation of the Maasai Mara. Narok is endowed with a rich cultural heritage with the Maasai community being the most dominant. While this cultural tapestry is beautiful, it also presents challenges for maternal and child health due to distinct social-cultural practices and socioeconomic factors such as limited access to education and healthcare.

The issues

One of the most pressing challenges faced by the county is the prevalence of pregnant teenage girls, a global concern with profound health, social, and economic consequences. Kenya has made strides in reducing teenage pregnancy rates; however, Narok County is a standout case, reporting a staggering 28% teenage pregnancy ratenearly double the national average (14%)

This issue is exacerbated by cultural practices like child marriage and girls in the Maasai community are known to undergo Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) before they are married off from as young as nine years old. This is despite Kenya’s strong child protection policies. In addition, the absence of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education in schools hinders girls from understanding their reproductive health at an early age.

Narok health indicators

  1. In Narok County, 55,414 adolescent pregnancies were reported between 2019 and 2022. These numbers underscore the magnitude of the issue and indicate the urgent need for comprehensive solutions.
  2. Another significant indicator is the proportion of monthly antenatal care (ANC) visits made by pregnant adolescents. Despite the high number of adolescent pregnancies, only 10.5% of pregnant teens attend their first ANC session. Even more concerning is that many health facilities do not have specialized care for this age group, meaning the majority of adolescent girls miss out on critical care.

While maternal adolescent deaths are relatively low, monitoring and addressing this issue are essential since the majority of the deaths go unreported at a community level.

Child.org and Narok

After three years of Child.org’s Team Mum project in Meru County, we recorded a 276% increase in women who could identify danger signs in pregnancy: a life-saving success.

We want to bring this success to Narok by working closely with the government to set up teen-friendly Pregnant Women’s Groups. We want to create a sense of community for these teens as well as provide them with much-needed and life-saving health information.

We are already making headway; the above health indicators associated with adolescent pregnancies is a fundamental step in addressing this crucial issue in Narok. The indicators serve as a roadmap for improving the well-being of mothers and children, guiding us towards effective solutions. 

As we unravel the significance of these indicators, we are better equipped to make a positive impact on the lives of the adolescent girls in Narok and secure a healthier future for the county as a whole.

What you can do

This year, Child.org has qualified for the Big Give Christmas Campaign. This means that between midday on November 28 and midday on December 5, every pound that you donate will be DOUBLED thanks to our champions Festival Republic and the Coles-Medlock Foundation.

This means if you donate £50, we get £100.

£100 is enough to set up one pregnancy support group for 15 women, and guide them through safe pregnancy with a 95% success rate.

Please note: our Big Give Christmas Campaign is now closed but you can still donate to Child.org by clicking here.

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