Awareness programmes needed to reduce teen pregnancies

Awareness programmes needed to reduce teen pregnancies


Awareness programmes on sexual and reproductive health need to be stepped up to help reduce teenage pregnancies, says Women, Family and Community Develop­ment Deputy Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun.

She said a survey by the National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN) showed that awareness on reproductive health was closely linked to the teenage pregnancy rate.

“Without this awareness, they do not know the consequences of engaging in sexual activity.

“The statistics and survey showed that we must expand our awareness campaign to ensure that our teenagers are informned about reproductive health.

“After that, they may feel that they do not want to try and will be aware of the consequences,” she told reporters after closing a Jiwa Muda Pekerti programme on sexual and reproductive health at SMK Lundu here yesterday.

Chew said statistics from the state Health Department showed that there were 3,707 cases of teenage pregnancy in Sarawak in 2015.

But, the figure dropped to 2,087 from January to October last year.

“I believe this is closely related to the Pekerti programme which LPPKN has carried out in Sarawak. We will also focus on hot spots where the situation is serious,” she said.

She added that Sabah and Sarawak had the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the country due to a lack of awareness and know­ledge.

LPPKN deputy director-general (management) Shukur Abdullah said the agency was working with the state Education Department to identify schools with high rates of pregnancy and sexual activity.

He said LPPKN would go to these schools to conduct the awareness programmes.

In her speech earlier, Chew urged teachers and parents to break the silence on sexual and reproductive health.

“We need to educate our teena­gers about these matters.

“Having knowledge about reproductive health is very important for reducing pregnancies and sexual activity among teenagers in the country,” she said.

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