248 New Year babies

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

The number of babies born in Limpopo on New Year's Day has risen to a whopping 248, the provincial department of health and social development said yesterday.

This is a marked increase com to last year's figure, which stood at 205.

But the department is concerned that the number of teenage mothers has also increased.

Department spokesman Phuti Seloba said their records indicated that 42 of the new mothers were under-age.

He said, however, that most if not all, of the mothers gave birth to healthy babies.

"We are still making a clarion call to the authorities to educate children about the dangers of engaging in unprotected sex.

"Also, we are aware that most of these young girls end up making children in order to ultimately access the government's child support grants," he said.

Of the 248 babies born on New Year's Day, 135 were boys and 113 were girls.

"It is wrong for the girls, mostly of school-going age, to make babies like they were going out of fashion because this will impact negatively on their lives as they grow up.

"We also have many health institutions in the province where girls can go to and get contraceptives to prevent them from falling pregnant.

"Using condoms during lovemaking will also protect them from contracting sexually-transmitted diseases," Seloba said.

According to Seloba, there were also a rising number of fatherless.

Seloba said this had resulted from the increasing tendency where young girls engaged in sexual relationships with more than one man.

"This practice obviously results in a woman not knowing who had actually impregnated her in order for that person to take over the responsibility of raising the child," Seloba added.