Fiji Time: 8:05 PM on Saturday 31 January

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'Talk about sex issues'

Shayal Devi
Saturday, January 25, 2014

AS many as 76 cases of teenage pregnancies were recorded in the National Child Welfare Register last year.

The youngest mother was a 14-year-old.

The Minister for Women, Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Jiko Luveni, said parents must acknowledge and accept that children who engaged in sexual activities were getting younger by the day.

"We cannot consider teenage pregnancy as a taboo topic anymore," she said.

"Parents and communities need to educate their children on sexual intercourse and its consequences.

"They should allocate quality family time with their children to freely discuss issues and positive parenting is the key to raising children who are disciplined."

Dr Luveni said the ministry was working to create more awareness of teenage pregnancies.

"We have signed an annual work plan for a new reproductive health project with the United Nations Population Fund.

"This will facilitate the utilisation of women's resource centres that have been constructed in rural communities as outlets for reproductive health education and services to young people and women.

"The services include capacity-building of parents to be able to communicate and address sexuality issues with their children.

"In partnership with UNICEF, the ministry has also developed a child facilitation package called 'Children are precious gifts from God'.

"This focuses on positive parenting and so far, 60 community facilitators have been trained to use this manual and they work with the communities to strengthen support for child protection."

Dr Luveni said open dialogue between parents and children would build positive relationships.

"These open dialogues should include discussion on sexuality issues, moral issues and the health and social benefits of practising abstinence until marriage as well as contraception and the consequences of having unprotected sex."





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