Early Childbearing in Africa
Early childbearing is becoming a huge phenomenon in developing countries. Some believe that early childbearing has a positive impact. But as we know, this can have much more of a negative impact and has a significant impact on the lives of adolescents.
Based on global data flow presented by UNICEF in 2019, the Central African Republic is the area that contributes the most percentage of early childbearing and Algeria is the country in Africa with the lowest percentage of early childbearing when compared to others. The average percentage of early childbirth in the countries presented is 24.64%. However, this is only confirmed data, what about unconfirmed data? Undoubtedly, there will be more cases of early childbearing occurring in Africa.
Several things are vital to consider in looking at the many cases of early childbearing in Africa. First, a complex reason related to age, geography, gender, and even generation has a big influence on how early childbearing can occur. It is still not known which factor is actually the most influential because the four factors sometimes overlap each other, so it doesn't always provide clear results. Second, there is a lack of knowledge about contraception from two parties, which are mothers and children. Mothers think sex lessons in school have covered the information, but what actually happens is that schools do not provide sufficient knowledge about healthy sexual relationships. Teenagers also tend to think that they know everything, so that when they receive information on such things, they challenge themselves to try instead of being cautious. In a study conducted by (Mkhwanazi, 2014), it appears that peer influence is the third vital reason. Those who may appear innocent will try to have sex even when they know they are in the minority age group. Turning to the next cause, low education in the African region is also often associated with an increased risk of early childbearing (Avogo & Somefun, 2019).
With so many cases occurring and the causes of early childbearing that seem to have yet to become clear, several suggestions have been collected for the government and individuals to prevent and overcome early childbearing. First, the government must show good performance in shaping policies regarding second-chance education for girls and apply them well because this is considered to be able to affect their chances of earning and having more qualified jobs in the future. In addition, it was also found that higher education was closely related to reducing the risk of giving birth to children at an early age. Second, good and planned interventions such as family planning services, services that provide information on early childbearing with a note that it must be youth-friendly. What can be done next is to build a clinic and implement a system in which the clinic has policies and processes that support youth rights, services that are able to adapt to the needs of adolescents, a conducive clinical environment, and have access to adequate medicines, supplies, and equipment needed as a form of health care. Apart from those already mentioned, it is hoped that the clinic will also have facilities that can provide information, education and counseling, individualized care if needed and provide accurate psychosocial and physical assessments.
Early childbearing is a phenomenon that is rife in Africa.
Age, gender, geography, low education, peer influence, and little knowledge of contraception are causes of early childbearing in Africa.
Both the government, non-governmental organizations, and parents strive to always provide preventive and curative actions for early childbearing problems that occur.