The National Family Planning Board (NFPB) is urging parents and guardians to educate their children about safe sexual and reproductive health (SRH) practises, in an effort to effectively tackle adolescent pregnancy.
This advice, from Communications Officer/Writer at the NFPB, Racquel Reece, comes as Jamaica joins the rest of the world in observing World Population Day 2013 on Thursday, July 11, under the theme: ‘Adolescent Pregnancy’.
She informed that this year’s observance will focus on re-integrating school-aged mothers into the formal education system and will form part of a continuous effort to provide age appropriate sexual and reproductive health information and services to adolescents and young people, in order to help them make informed decisions.
She pointed out that the more educated people are about their reproductive health, the better prepared they are to make wise choices.
“We want young people to be able to achieve their full potential,” she stated, noting that mistimed pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections can have a detrimental impact on the ability of adolescents to achieve their goals.
According to Ms. Reece, the NFPB is especially concerned about adolescents, as maternal mortality rates are usually higher in that age group. This is because adolescents are less likely to make use of antenatal health care services, and are more likely to suffer from complications during labour.
They are also more likely to have premature babies and children with low birth weight, and are at risk of educational failure, and emotional disturbances.
The NFPB in association with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) will address the issue of teen pregnancy through the launch of a nine-minute video feature, which will be broadcast in the commercial media. A print advertorial will also be used to communicate the intended message.
Contact: Toni-Ann Rankine