Philippine Teenage Pregnancy Up 65% in the Last Decade

Primary reasons: the lack of education and access to reproductive health services.

Data from the National Statistics Office revealed that from 2000-2010, teenage pregnancy in the Philippines has increased by 65%, despite an almost 14% decline in teenage marriage in the same period. The increase was most notable among girls aged 15 to 19, among whom live births rose 38% from 2006 to 2011.
 
Researchers from the Family Health Survey disclosed that the primary reasons for teenage pregnancy are insufficient access to information about sexual health and reproductive health services specifically targeted at teens.

Teenage pregnancy also puts young mothers at risk of health complications because of poor nutrition and their age, according to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST). The most significant risk in this age group is undernutrition, as 36% of pregnant women below 20 are undernourished, compared to 23% for older mothers. This also puts their babies at risk due to low birth weight, short lactation time, and premature birth.

To address access to both information and services among sexually active youth, DKT Reproductive Health Inc., the makers of Frenzy Condoms, participated in this year’s UP Fair, helping attendees learn more about safe sex, and busting misconceptions about contraceptive use. Using a classroom setup complete with sexy teachers, the Frenzy University booth facilitated an interactive quiz about condom usage, and displayed data about unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and population growth.

Says Norman Campoy, Product Manager of Frenzy Condom, “Making reproductive health education fun is a way of breaking down our cultural barriers in discussing safe sex, especially for young adults. We hope that being visible where they are, in this case, the UP Fair, removes the stigma of condom use and opens teens to being more responsible about their choices.”

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