An alarm raised on 3,964 cases of school going girls getting pregnant in Machakos County has turned out to be false after it was discovered that they were just suffering from abdominal obesity.
In the strange turn of events, Machakos County has come out to clarify that the reported cases were based on physical observations and not standard pregnancy tests, a factor that could have led to the false positives.
Defending their test method, Machakos County Governor Alfred Mutua said that it was a common practice all over Kenya to test for teenage pregnancy through physical observation due to their secretive nature and to avoid causing unnecessary panic. “You do not go asking an adolescent girl if they are pregnant. You can’t ask them to take a test without expecting some resistance.”
The new development has been corroborated by parents who said their teenage children at home have been eating too much.
“These children have been eating too much since the schools closed. I have 3 teenagers in the house and for the first time ever, my fridge is always empty. This is the first time ever such a thing is happening.”
Another parent who spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want the children in future to claim that they were abused when they were young said that her children had developed some bottomless pits instead of stomachs. “The other day I sent them to buy a pizza and they brought eight of them. By the time I finished educating them about the economic implications of what they had done, they had finished eating the pizzas. Maybe times have changed, but I don’t understand how three girls can eat eight pizzas in one seating!”
Lack of Exercise
Interestingly, there is a logical explanation for the false false Machakos teenage pregnancy cases which could be the case all over Kenya.
Teenage nutritionist Muthengi Kaloki said that the matter was also complicated by the fact that stay at home and social distancing directions meant that teenagers could not go out and play as it is normal for their age, leading to the buildup of fats around the abdomen. “I think the eating is being done normally. What is happening abnormally is the physical exercise. Teenagers always eat like hell and they usually exercise like much more hell. Take away the exercise and you start getting these false pregnancy alarms.”
This is not the first time a false pregnancy alarm has been sounded. Earlier in the year, an Artificial Intelligence based CCTV system in Nairobi meant to help identify pregnant women ended up labeling 42% of all middle-aged men as 3 months pregnant. The anomaly was because it was using physical features to identify pregnant people and any pot belly ticked the all the pregnancy boxes.