Mageta is a small cosmopolitan island of about 6.6km2 located in Lake Victoria with most of its residents engaged in fishing and fishing related activities.
Just like many other beaches around Lake Victoria, Mageta Island too records high numbers of people living with HIV, maternal health issues and teenage pregnancies despite the many interventions set to curb such issues in the area.
KMET arrived in the island to introduce community conversation as an approach involving the whole community in handling maternal health issues.
Though they found the concept of community conversation new, they embraced the idea and immediately opened up to deliberate on teenage pregnancy which they said is quite prominent.
As the discussion was underway, one community member walked in and after listening for a short while, she broke the latest news of teenage pregnancy in one of the primary schools that left everyone shocked.
She disclosed that she was just from Mitundu Primary school where she had been called to discuss what should be done to the girls who had apparently reported to school pregnant.
The community members led by their chairman Mr.Samuel Otieno noted that in the last three consecutive years, the school has been reporting high numbers of teenage pregnancy with 7 cases recorded in 2014.
This concern led them to discuss the possible causes of high teenage pregnancy and two major factors were identified.
First, they realized that most mothers sent their daughters to the market without money. The girls are then lured by fishermen who give them over ksh.1000 in exchange for sex.
The other major issue is that most of the teenagers sleep homesteads away from their parents and out of peer pressure, some engage in unhealthy relationships during the night.
They finally decided to visit the affected school as a community and talk to the pupils and teachers to find a way forward.
In their next community conversation forum, they intended to encourage parents to find ways of ensuring their children slept closer to avoid peer pressure.
They were so grateful to KMET for introducing community conversation since they realized they have been sitting back in silence as their children’s future slowly got blurred.
‘This idea of community conversation is so timely. We shall first use it to ensure our girls complete their education by reducing teenage pregnancies’, said the community chairman, Samuel Otieno.