Teen pregnancy cases in Iloilo drop

first_imgAccording to PPO chief Ramon Yee, in 2017 ofthe 22,478 total number of births, 2,221 or 9.88 percent were by teenagedmothers. Yee said the Iloilo provincial government hasbeen campaigning for responsible parenthood and safe sex in a bid to check thecountry’s population growth. The youngest teenage mother the PPO recordedwas 13 years old; she gave birth in 2017, said Yee. According to the Young AdultFertility and Sexuality Study (YAFSS) 4, data showed that in thePhilippines, an increasing proportion of adolescents and young people haveearly sexual encounters. ILOILO – Pregnancy can lead to devastatinghealth consequences for young girls. Many adolescents are not yet physicallyready for pregnancy or childbirth, and are therefore more vulnerable tocomplications. Obstetric fistula is one of the most seriousand tragic childbirth injuries, according to UNPF. A hole between the birthcanal and bladder and/or rectum, it is caused by prolonged, obstructed laborwithout access to timely, high-quality medical treatment. It leaves womenleaking urine, feces or both, and often leads to chronic medical problems,depression, social isolation and deepening poverty. * 17 years old – 279 The lives of young mothers and their babies areat risk in teenage pregnancy cases, he said, because the reproductive system ofteenage girls is not ready for pregnancy yet. The most ideal is having zero teenagepregnancy cases, he stressed. “Early pregnancy can hinder youngsters fromachieving their goals…it puts at risk the future of young people,” added Yee. The other teenage pregnancy cases were asfollows: Of the 22,652 total number of births in 2018,2,158 or 9.53 percent were by teenaged mothers 19 years old and below. Health problems are even more likely if a girlbecomes pregnant too soon after reaching puberty, according to UNPF. In low-and middle-income countries, the risk of maternal death for girls under age 15is higher than for women in their 20s. These girls also face health risks suchas obstetric fistula, and their babies face greater risks as well. * 14 years old – six In 2013, one in three young people reporthaving premarital sex. The prevalence of early sexual encounters has increasedover the last 20 years. Males are more likely to report having premarital sexthan females. In 2016 on the other hand, of the 23,945 totalnumber of births, 2,583 or 10.4 percent were by teenaged mothers, Yee revealed. Lack of parental supervision and social mediamay have contributed to the teenage pregnancy problem, said Yee. The PPO, Yee said, is campaigning thatteenagers not engage in sex at an early age through. It conducts symposiums onthis in schools and local government-operated teen centers. * 15 years old – 39 According to the United Nations PopulationFund (UNPF), adolescent pregnancy is generally not the result of a deliberatechoice – these girls often have little say over decisions affecting theirlives. Rather, early pregnancy is a consequence of little or no access toschool, information or health care. Tens of thousands of adolescents die annuallyof causes related to pregnancy and childbirth, according to UNFP. In fact,these are the leading cause of death among adolescent girls, aged 15-19, globally. * 16 years old – 109 “We do not want to put their lives at risk,”stressed Yee. Data from the province’s 42 municipalities andthe component city of Pass showed a declining trend in teenage pregnancy cases,according to the Provincial Population Office (PPO). The World Health Organization considersadolescent pregnancies a global problem. When a girl becomes pregnant, her lifecan change radically. Her education may end and her job prospects diminish. Shebecomes more vulnerable to poverty and exclusion, and her health often suffers. According to the Department of Health (DOH),while General Fertility (GF) among Filipino women has significantly decreasedsince 1970, Age Specific Fertility Rates (ASFR) of adolescents has changedlittle. The 2017 National Demographic and HealthSurvey (NDHS) places adolescent ASFR at 47 live births per 1,000 women 15 to19years old, up from 57 in the 2013 NDHS. “Government intervention” through localgovernment units, he said, made the decline possible with the help of thechurch, communities and other stakeholders. He reminded youngsters to focus on long-termgoals such as finishing school and landing good jobs. In 2013, 36 percent of males reported havingearly sexual encounters compared to 29 percent of females. The highest levels of early sexual encountersare reported in the National Capital Region (41 percent) and Central Luzon (31percent)./PNlast_img


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