Saturday, October 11, 2014

Teenage pregnancy alarms Ilocos Norte health officials

By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff reporter

Laoag City—Owing to the increase in the number of teenage mothers in Ilocos Norte, the Gender and Development Office in cooperation with the Provincial Health Office will be conducting a health summit to address this concern.

Dr. Artemio Gambalan, provincial health officer of Ilocos Norte said the number of teenage pregnancy has risen over the past 10 years, which is quite alarming.

Aside from the conduct of sex education by the Department of Education, the PHO will also be organizing health forums particularly to disseminate the various health hazards of teenage pregnancy.

In a study on Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality conducted by the University of the Philippines’ Population Institute and Demographic Research and Development Foundation, it shows that at least one in every 10 girls, ages 15 to 19 years old, in the Ilocos region is already a mother.

“In 2002, the proportion of girls ages 15 to 19 who became mothers was only 4.2 percent, but last year, it rose to 13 percent,” according to the study.

The findings were part of a nationwide survey on Filipino youth, ages 15 to 24, conducted in 2013. Some 1,000 respondents were from the provinces of Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte.

Mr. Gambalan hopes that with the conduct of health summit the soonest possible time, the risk of teenage pregnancy will be significantly reduced.

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