A Roaming Pregnant Teenager Tells Her Story (WOMAN DAILY™)

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Woman Daily™ is our diary. Share your views and experiences on all issues.

A pregnant teenager approached me yesterday evening as I hurried down the road on Ogunlana Drive. She appeared shy as she virtually covered her face with her right hand. But the pain in her eyes explained why she summed up the courage to talk to me. “Mummy, please I need your help,” she said.

She looked untidy and tired, securing some squeezed naira notes in her left hand, obviously the money she had been able to collect from people who pitied her plight.  I was short of words and all I could do was just stare at her as she managed to piece her story together.

As a mother, I knew she needed beyond just some money. I asked her series of questions in a rush; I needed to know who was responsible for her pregnancy, where her parents were and with whom she was living.

Before answering any of my questions, she apologized for allowing herself to be in that condition. She said she did not know that she could become pregnant because no one told her and that it became too late for her to get an abortion when she realized that she was pregnant.

She said she had lost her father some years back and her mother now lives in Abeokuta with her new husband, so she couldn’t be accommodated in her house. As a matter of fact, her mother is not aware of where she lives with a friend who has decided to accommodate her for now.

She told me how she could not write the last high school certificate examination because of the pregnancy. Now, the 18-year-old is wandering on the streets of Surulere looking for how to get some money. She needs to pay for the delivery of her baby by the first week of September, hoping that any of the Mother and Child health centre in Lagos will give her care.

I thought it was a complicated plight and would need an intervention from any of the Non-governmental Organisations that are concerned with issues as this. While I await a reply from any of the organizations, you can guess what my fears are; how would she locate the young man who got her pregnant? , for how long more would she be accommodated by a friend?, and what would become of her future after the child is born?

This takes me to the issues that need critical attention.  We cannot run away from who and what is to be blamed. It could be as a result of neglect on the part of her mother, who upon her new marriage may have decided to care less about her. And the ripples effect of neglect and possibly, hunger, may have led her into the net of a man who decided to take advantage of her situation.

This teenager may have been hungry for love and relevance among people, and coupled with lack of basic needs, walked into the danger of sexual misbehavior.

Educating the youths to help them make informed choices cannot be over-flogged because every youth needs adequate and regular information to help them develop and drive their vision. It is only then that the nation will be hopeful of a befitting future.