Many boys in Mathare get married at the age of 17 to 23. Failure to do so brands one as ‘fala’ (useless), someone without a sense of direction.
Many girls in Mathare drop out of school because of getting pregnant. Young girls in Mathare don’t want use condoms as they say ’’You can’s eat a banana and its skin.’’For that reasons many teenage girls get pregnant and their only option is to abort. Private hospitals within Mathare offer abortion at affordable prices, one just needs to go to the hospital and they carry out the abortion. A lot of girls can’t afford or are too ashamed to go to the hospital. That’s why they carry out abortions themselves. They try to abort using herbs and squeezing the stomach.
Jackie (not her real name) got pregnant when she was in class 7, and aborted in order to continue with school. She used a substance called “Shubiri”, something like Aloe Vera, which she bought at a price of 20 Kshs (20 cents US). She failed to abort, the child was born with a mental disability and the girl died. This is often the reality of many girls in Mathare North. Some succeed to abort, some don’t, others die.
STD’s are very common and young people often don’t care. They say that if they get pregnant they will abort, and if they AIDS its and an accident.
Abortion rate and the rate of sexually transmitted diseases are very high in Mathare. A lot of girls are engaged in unprotected sex and are often forced into sexual affairs with rich people. Many girls do not know how to protect themselves. They have sex with anyone without protection and they don’t care. They say that to get AID’S is like running with bubble gum in your mouth if you swallow it that is just bad luck.