Officials in Zimbabwe say the pandemic is exasperating the country's teenage pregnancy crisis. When the coronavirus forced the country's 15 million people to enter lockdown, girls were shut out from access to clinics and contraceptives, the Associated Press reports. Officials also said many of the girls faced sexual abuse while they were forced to stay home.

Facing a dire economic crisis during the pandemic, some girls looked to marriage and pregnancy as a way out of poverty. According to women’s affairs minister Sithembiso Nyoni, about 5,000 students became pregnant in just the first two months of 2021.