Monday, 4 June 2007

Editorial: Sex and consequence

JUNE is back to school, back to repairing desks, cleaning classrooms, and-ideally-educating youths about sex and its consequences. Homes and schools should open mature and sensitive discussions of these concerns as one viable option for protecting teenagers from the illegal, invisible but pervasive scourge of abortion.
No. 4 killer Although abortion is illegal in the country, the Department of Health (DOH) records 400,000 illegal abortions performed annually, with 80,000 of these ending in hospitalizations due to abortion-related complications. In 1994, 12 percent of maternal deaths were due to unsafe abortions, according to the DOH. Due to the law and public rejection, two-thirds of Filipino women resort to self-induced abortion or pay quacks to perform this. “Induced abortion is the fourth leading cause of maternal death in the country,” stresses the first “State of the Philippine Population Report (SPPF)” published by the Commission on Population (Popcom).

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Catch them young

There is an urgent need for youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services in the fight against HIV Aids, writes ROSE ORONJE
LACK OF SEX EDUCATION AND information is to blame for early sexual activity among young people in sub-Saharan Africa and the spread of HIV/Aids, says a study.
As a result, the majority of sexually active young people in the region do not protect themselves against unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/Aids.
According to a study by Infotrak Research and Consulting, more than 50 per cent of girls in Kenya lose their virginity by the age of 16.
In a joint study by the African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC) and the Guttmacher Institute (US) in 2004, about half of young people (age 15-19 years) in Uganda and Malawi, 40 per cent in Burkina Faso, and 22 per cent in Ghana, were found to be sexually active.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Teenage pregnancy: Let's talk about sex

As teenage pregnancy rates remain stubbornly high in the UK, Tom de Castella asks whether a new approach is needed

Teenage pregnancy is one of those totemic issues used to measure how well a society brings up its young people. And in study after study, the UK compares badly with other European countries, with teenage girls here five times more likely to become pregnant than their Dutch counterparts.

In 1999, the Government launched its Teenage Pregnancy Strategy with a target of halving the 90,000 teenage conceptions in 1998 by 2010, and an interim goal of a 15 per cent reduction by 2004. The latter was missed and few experts believe the Government will reach its objective. But the Government and its advisers insist there has been progress. Since the strategy was set out, the number of conceptions for under-18s has fallen by 11 per cent, while birth rates have come down by 20 per cent due to an increase in abortions. But progress is uneven and between 2004 and 2005 conceptions among women under 16 in fact nudged up by 0.3 per cent.

Parents play key role in preventing teen pregnancy

According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a leading think tank studying sexual behavior, in 2004 the U.S. teen pregnancy rate was 96 per 1,000 girls. In the case of California, almost 10 percent of girls ages 15-19 were likely to become pregnant.For parents, this is startling information. Time and again, parents will ask "What can we do?" and the answer starts at home.

School health classes contribute to helping teens avoid pregnancy, but they are only one piece of the puzzle. Some districts have semester-long health programs, while other districts have all but removed health from their schedules by reducing a semester-long class into a weeklong component. Whichever direction a school district opts to go, the time spent dealing with pregnancy prevention is minimal.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Study: Canadian Teen Pregnancy Rates Down, Sexually Transmitted Infections Rates Up

Toronto, ON (AHN) - Canada's teenage pregnancy rate is at all-time low and teen abortions rates have also dropped according to a study. The research shows that the teen pregnancy rate in Canada fell about 40 percent between 1974 and 2003.

Alex McKay, research coordinator at the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada attributed the lower pregnancy rate to birth control, "it's due to greater contraceptive use, not teens having less sex."

In fact, while teen pregnancy rates are down, sexually transmitted infections rates are up. He said that the birth control pill is being used as a primary form of contraception and it does not prevent against sexually transmitted infections.
McKay wants teenagers and young adults to know that preventing infections is just as important as preventing pregnancy.

"One of the things we clearly need to do in this country is promote greater consistent condom use among all young people."

Teen pregnancy rate for region lower than national average

Although a recent report on sex information said Canada's teen pregnancy rate is highest in the north and in rural areas, this region has bucked the trend.
"Leeds, Grenville and Lanark have some of the lowest rates of pregnancy for 15- to 19-year-olds in the province," said Jane Futcher, the director of clinical services at the local health unit.
The report by the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada - which also stated that teen pregnancy has hit an all-time low and teen abortion rates have hit a 10-year low in Canada - stated that rural teens lack access to sexual health services that cater to young people.
But that's not the case here.
"We have sexual health clinics in all of our health unit locations in Gananoque, Brockville, Smiths Falls, Perth, Almonte and Kemptville," said Futcher. These clinics generally serve people ages 14 to 27, but sometimes serve younger and older clients in the case that they don't have a family doctor who can prescribe birth control.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Battle teen pregnancy with science, not ideology

Study says federal government wastes money with abstinence-only programs.

In the United States, teen birth, teen abortion and sexually transmitted infection rates are higher than in most other industrialized countries. In 1999, 48 out of 1,000 U.S. women ages 15 to 19 gave birth -- a rate 11 times greater than in the Netherlands and four times higher than in Germany. The teen abortion rate in the United States is more than three times that of France and nearly seven times that of the Netherlands.In New York state, nearly 40,000 teens became pregnant in 2004, according to the New York State Department of Health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that four in 10 teens in New York will have sex before they graduate high school.