What first comes to mind when you hear of teenage pregnancies? This question signifies so many things to different people. A typical African parent sees it as a disgrace and a taboo. A majority of the victims in regret and frustration, try to take away the lives of the innocent children growing within them. I would say all of the above opinions are nothing but the reality. However, as a health personnel, the question should be, what’s the real image behind every teenage pregnancy? This may be a difficult question with a biased answer but the truth is, everyone is guilty of every teenager who gets pregnant.
Oh yes! The parents, boys, girls, I and even you reading this, are in one way or the other, responsible for a teenager getting pregnant.
In most countries, a teenager is anyone within the ages of 13-19 years. And teenage pregnancy is when a girl within this age group gets pregnant. In most cases, not only is the teenager’s body not fully developed biologically to accommodate a baby, but she is psychologically not aware of what she is getting into.
Research has proven that the high rates of unsafe abortions are as a result of teenagers trying to get rid of the baby. At worse, she loses her womb. At worst, she loses her life.
Diagnosis of abortion complications in Nigeria. Source: Bankole (Guttmacher)
The downsides of teenage pregnancies
Before we play the blame game of who is responsible for teenage pregnancies, let’s take a good look at some of the disadvantages of teenage pregnancies. It leads to so many teenage girls dropping out of school, lack of money to cater for themselves and children can push them to become commercial sex workers (prostitutes), frustration and bitterness due to their unrealized dreams, are sometimes passed down to these innocent kids. What’s more, some lose their lives in the process of putting to birth and most give birth to underweight children.
Now, who’s really responsible?
We all are in one way or the other, responsible for every teenage girl who gets pregnant. Our African stereotype mindset has a great role to play here. It is good to teach our kids and siblings good morals BUT why do we exclude talks about sexual and reproductive health from these children?
We are in a highly digitalized society where everything is available via the Internet without any age restrictions. If we fail to educate them on what is right, they are exposed to those things outside and sometimes, get carried away and make the wrong choices. We (you and I) have also failed because of some very little acts we overlook; why do we give an unpleasant stare to a teenager coming to purchase a contraceptive (in most cases condoms)? Because we look at them as immoral, this makes many of these teens who are sexually active afraid to come out to buy them for fear of being criticized. So, they prefer to go about the act without protection and the end result is a baby neither of them planned for.
The Integrated Health Organization’s contribution
The Integrated Health Organization has carried out several campaigns in schools and strongly advocates for parents and adults to properly educate teenagers on safe sex practices.
Cynthia Adanze leading an IHO sensitization campaign for the importance of educating teenagers on safe sex practices.
We are a team of dynamic youths with so much interest in preventive health. Educating teenagers especially at home and in schools will go a long way to curb the alarming rates of teenage pregnancies.
Let’s stop pointing accusing fingers when they come to purchase a contraceptive. It is our duty to guide these teens on how to go about life, especially within their teenage days. Rather than reject those who are already pregnant, let us support them. Then, make them understand it’s not the end of life as they can still achieve their dreams.
Teenage pregnancy is unhealthy and isn’t something anyone should encourage.
African most Passion-Driven Social Entrepreneur
Allow us present to you the African most Passion-Driven Social Entrepreneur. Iamafropreneur team with intense focus on her gathered the most in a unique interview with Mrs Fotabe Elmine. Our goal is to have you motivated, encourage and intensify you taste and hunger towards influencing and impacting the lives of the African communities through your entrepreneurial skills.
Who is Fotabe Elmine, how did you start your career, what kind of education did you have ?
Fotabe Elmine is a passion-driven Social Entrepreneur, lecturer and corporate trainer who believes that young people and women with the right training are the future of the African continent. Elmine was born in Kumba, South West Region of Cameroon, where she grew up and attended most of her primary and secondary school. Elmine’s father was a businesses man, and her mother a civil servant/Politician.
Elmine began her professional career as a teacher of Entrepreneurship in 2008 and has since then taught over 5000 students, courses like Human Resource Management, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Business Leadership, Personal Branding and more. She has also trained hundreds of corporate employees all over the country. In 2009, she founded Job Shop, a human resource consulting and placement agency.
In 2011, Job Shop became a partnership and grew to serve clients, not only in Human Resources Management, but also in Finance. The firm expanded that same year and the partners created a Higher Institute of Learning. When the vision of the Organization began derailing from her initial vision, Elmine took the bold step of leaving an organization she created and worked hard to nurture for six years! A few months later, in December 2014, Elmine founded Fotabe University College, which later became Fotabe Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy. In 2015, she founded an association called “Association for the promotion of decent work for women and girls (ASSPRODEC).” That same year, she founded and Fotabe Universal Higher Institute of Cameroon. In 2016, Elmine founded a web platform to enable young people from all over the country have access to FREE examination preparation lessons and materials. Fotabe Elmine holds two Masters Degrees. One in Human Resource Management and another in Marketing and Communication from Rome Business School. She also holds an Associate degree in Business Administration, and honours group Diploma in Mnagement
and Administration, a Certificate in Psychology and Mental health, and is currently undertaking and MBA in Finance. This Mbo native from the Kupe Muanenguba Division of the South West Region of Cameroon spends her free time talking to neighbours about he kingdom of God.
You are one of the most outstanding women in Cameroon with different portfolio what is your secret?
My secret is my appreciation for the creator’s gift of intelligence, my passion for the things I believe in, and my desire to work hard in order to bring out the best in others. I am very convinced that Cameroon has the potentials, not only in terms of natural resources, but most especially in terms of Human capital, to emerge.
3- What are your challenges and successes?
Well, the greatest challenge I deal with is not having the financial means to touch all the lives I’d love to touch. Besides the financial constraint, I am also seriously challenged by the mentality of the young people and the families I try to support. Many of them plainly do not believe an individual like myself can bring any meaningful and lasting contribution to their existence. They trust the government to do it. However, staying consistent to our mission is gradually changing their mindset of many. I’ve had many successes I’m thankful for. Top amongst them is the fact that I’ve been able to share my passion, knowledge and experience with thousands of young people and corporate entrepreneurs. I’m happy to
have helped small businesses to grow and thrive. Even though the current crisis in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon have slowed down our work, I’m particularly happy I led the initiative called “Kansas Hill” aimed at making Bamenda the most Socially Responsible city in the Country.
We provided a FREE internet-equipped space for young people to enable them develop their knowledge and passion in social Entrepreneurship. I’m also happy to have helped women and young people discover their full potential. But most especially, I’m thankful I am lending my little contribution to encourage women and girls to take back their dignity by raising my voice against illegal migration to some Middle Eastern countries and to other countries in the world where women’s rights are not respected.
You are the initiator and organiser of FELA’s Entrepreneurial leadership forum, what are your objectives?
Simply to inspire and train young people to become entrepreneurs and leaders in their communities. I believe that Africa needs to focus on raising more entrepreneurial leaders.
I want every young person who attends the forum to understand that and to put it into
use. And so far, the almost 400 youths who have passed through the forum are creating
great impact in their communities.
What advice do you have for our readers and the young girls who want to follow your path?
My advice to young girls: “You have enormous potentials. Work hard, do what you’re
passionate about. Keep your dignity and do not be afraid to stand up for what is right. And
remember the most successful woman is the woman who helps other women to be successful.”
To young people all around the country, be responsible, law abiding and daring. We have a country to build. If not us, who? If not now, when?
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