KZN Health MEC Ms Nomagugu Simelane [File image]
Image: Twitter KZN Provincial Gov
The authorities in KwaZulu-Natal have called on the law enforcement agencies to follow up on teen pregnancies and help press charges against those who have impregnated children under 16. This call was made by Health MEC – Nomagugu Simelane.
The MEC and Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube visited the Harry Gwala Regional Hospital in Pietermaritzburg to welcome babies born on New Year’s Day. Teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 were among the mothers who gave birth.
Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube, accompanied by Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane and @MsunduziM Mayor Mzimkhulu Thebolla visited Harry Gwala Regional Hospital (previously known as Edendale Hospital) to welcome to the world babies born on New Year’s Day, and showered them with presents. pic.twitter.com/9wYE85KyRq
— KZN Provincial Gov (@kzngov) January 1, 2023
By midday on New Year’s Day, KwaZulu-Natal public health care facilities had registered 76 babies – with the majority being boys. Four of those were born at the Harry Gwala Regional Hospital, formerly the Edendale Hospital, in Pietermaritzburg.
The youngest new mother is a 15-year-old. Simelane says teenage pregnancies are a big concern.
“We also had a 15-year-old mother which means when she fell pregnant she was 14. That is not something we should celebrate as a society. The other is in Port Shepstone and the father is 15-years-old. Now here it is two lives affected by pregnancy. There are also two 16-year-old mothers. One was impregnated by a 23-year-old. Now that is someone who should be arrested. Where we are sitting it is statutory rape. We don’t accept the payments given to families,” expresses Simelane.
This comes as Statistics South Africa reported last year that of the over 106 000 girls between 10 and 19-years-old who gave birth in 2019, almost a quarter were from KwaZulu-Natal. Dube-Ncube is calling on parents to have frank conversations with their children about pregnancy.
“We do want to congratulate those mothers. But it is concerning that we also have teens amongst these mothers. It is really really concerning because in the main concern is the life of those girls that will be disruptive. It’s not for the time when you are breastfeeding or you are taking care. We call on parents and society to fight this and not encourage this.”
Meanwhile, two young mothers – 22-year-old Nonjabulo Nxele and 21-year-old Nomonde Ngcobo – were over the moon after giving birth on New Year’s Day.
“It is very special. It’s a blessing. My mother even said that this baby will be born on this day. I’m really happy that my baby was born on New Year’s Day. I am over the moon.”
“I am so happy that my baby was born on such a special day, the first day of the new year. Wow I’m happy.”
The exact number of babies born on New Year’s Day will be released on Monday.
VIDEO:KZN Premier welcomes New Year babies at Harry Gwala Regional Hospital:
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